love, if only technically – BY: ROXY HARRISON

your dad, amazed,
opened up my email
in which i listed the qualities
that made you
my favorite human on earth

somewhere in the keyboard
i wondered if i had overstepped
my boundaries in the precarious
space between the letters
“e” and “r”

the white wash of those lit
up alphabets did little to
quell my hand from composing
a letter that never would have been
sent if…
only i had been born 20 years ago
before the anonymity of an
infinite internet had been constructed

and in an era where people
could simply talk to each other
without the safe and sterile buffer
of a glowing computer screen

i thank god for technological achievements.

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The Widower (Part 1)

imgres-1 The widower next door is coming over tonight. My wife invited him for dinner and I didn’t object. His wife died last spring and we went to the funeral out of proximity more so than anything else. I can’t even be certain of the dead wife’s name. Though honestly that isn’t saying very much. I am awful with names, it’s just one of those things I can never seem to remember. Faces, I don’t forget.

The other day I was in the supermarket by the produce section and out of the corner of my eye I see a face I haven’t seen since high school. I know exactly who he is. He sat two seats in front of me in freshman biology. Bright guy, always scored high. I was a terrible student. Never really applied myself to the books. Probably on account of the dyslexia, but whatever the case, I don’t read well. My wife is part of a book club, which is how she got to talking with the widower in the first place. He joined a couple months after his wife died. I imagine it must be very lonely to sit at home alone. She used to ask me to join the book club, but she’s stopped bothering with that.
I don’t say anything to the guy, the guy from high school that is, because I don’t like those types of conversations:

“Is that you, (insert name).”
“Yeesscan I help you?”
“It’s me, Eric, Eric Benjamin. From Hebrew Academy? Remember? (Insert iconic high school moment. Maybe that time someone let mice loose in Rabbi Zuckerman’s class).”
“Oh yeah! Eric how you doing?”
“I’m good, I’m good. It’s been ages since I last saw you. You look (insert lie).”
“You look…well…you look just like you did in high school …”
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