EVERYBODY LIVES FOREVER IF NO ONE EVER GOES ONLINE
TARA-MICHELLE ZINIUK

Your apartment was full of clowns; it is not surprising that you would die.

You were sure that your cat was your mother reincarnate. You had the cat for longer than you had the mother. Your loyalty blurry but enduring.

Your hands were a mess of numerals, letters and shapes, lines and dots. Your hands were a mess and you were.

When you died, I was angry one told me, but not sure if I thought they should have because we’d been lovers or because of the stalking  

When you died, I couldn’t remember what your email address had been what your name had been how it was said or spelled if it was hyphenated what language it had been in
what language we had been in. It was as if it wasn’t you. It couldn’t be.

I remember we brought our own wine. I remember you gave the cops your real name, whatever that was. I was an anarchist and I was angry. I remember being told that we were trespassing,
our date having landed us on a pier
notorious for suicides. I don’t believe
this was foreshadowing.

When I show up in your eulogy, I am even more confused
as to why no one thought to call. Are the terms of our intimacy
forever yours, if yours is the body that ceases to be? I wanted to choose
your distance.

Somewhere, there is a video of you enacting your own death. There is a girl waiting
on dial-up to view it, hoping her roommate’s computer holds out that long. In the video
there are shards of glass. In enacting it
you absolve yourself of your own mortality.

One by one you watch
the people you love watch you die. Somewhere, there is a girl waiting
on dial-up to watch you die. Unaware
of what’s to come.


Tara-Michelle Ziniuk is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Whatever, Iceberg (Mansfield Press) which has recently been translated to French. Her work has been featured in Taddle Creek, Prism, Joyland, The Best Canadian Poetry in English (2016), Poetry is Dead, EOAGH, and other publications. She lives in Toronto with her daughter.