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the texter
Jo McEniery (University of Technology, Sydney, Australia)



11.42 – a text
from him, i know
because my phone soon signals another

11.43 – another one
my phone is screaming
‘Answer me! Someone wants you terribly’

11.44 – i decide to wait
if there’s conversation to be had
it’s best to see the bigger picture

11.48 – and there we have it
the clincher
the one i could read, ignoring those before
because this
In Summary
is marked with plus signs and equals
the way any good equation goes


he’s good at equations, they’re what he knows
but my heart does not open for the right formula
the constant buzz of phone in frenzy frightens me and does not delight
he’s yet to ask, what do i like
but deploys his tried and true


i thought we humans, we had different codes
one size fits all
fits no one here
unless my heart’s too small
to understand the rules –
am i the one that’s cold?


the fifth message says nothing = neither do the other four

the words are there
the beginnings of conversation
not questions
failed connections

disjointed slivers
of observation
speaking the same tongue
yet > does not equal < - can daily interactions be robotic or invigorating depending on who wields the thumb and presses send two thoughts too soon ÷ 11.59 - i press the button delete all are you sure? confirmed. sent to trash exasperation grows can’t he wait complete a thought in one rich bubble of distraction you + me = we > not happening

instead fragments
inspire my heart to distress
and into lockdown


for i did not ever
crave to fall in love
with a machine



Jo McEniery is currently studying a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at the University of Technology, Sydney. She started writing poetry as a means of communicating with a work colleague during long days in the office and is now addicted!

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