Night fell like day unplugged
as my television suffused me
in its death-glow. We both
hummed monotonous tones
to keep us from thinking
about how one of us was dying.
I was the lucky one
I kept telling myself.
Then it flickered a few times
like a giant blinking eyelid.
You must not cry
as your television dies.
No one will tell you this
but it is as real as truth
fed truth serum. You should
not cradle it in your arms,
your expression framed
in its rectangular face.
Remember, you are artificial
but alive, and must begin
the process of replacement
always and again. Try not
to notice your tv’s bulb pumping
less and less light. Do not recall
the time you drown your iPhone
or how it trembled on your thigh
choking in your shorts pocket.
Do not relate how your laptop
just one day O.D.ed on bad data.
There was no chance to logout
or even say goodbye. That last
document still unfinished,
an open ghost floating
like a sheet of pixels
in some, as of yet,
unrediscovered techniverse.
Please do not mourn
the death of your television.
Do not weep when its face
goes dark. Do not feel
its light leaving your body.

Front page image by teevx.

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Matt Rasmussen

About the Author

Matt Rasmussen is the author of Black Aperture which won the 2013 Walt Whitman Award. It was also a finalist for the 2014 National Book Award and was awarded the 2014 Minnesota Book Award for Poetry. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in The Literary Review, Gulf Coast, Water~Stone Review, Paper Darts, and elsewhere. He is a founder and editor of the independent poetry press Birds, LLC. and lives in Robbinsdale, Minnesota.
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