Tapping Together

By Lilly Gelman

On our way to work, or school,

Or out, we sit in the same shoebox cars.

Adjacent, but never together


With others only in pixels and codes.

Our faces aglow, light up the underground tunnels

The screens divide

Separating us from them and each other.

It is best not to see

Or hear, so we fill our ears with static

Shaped like beat drops and harmonies,

Recorded voices more important than the other.

These tracks carry people, both native and not

To destinations and occasions marking each person

Themselves. But we carry the universe in our pockets

And palms, missing those who have experienced

The world. Tapping away each inflection,

Replacing humor and

Love with yellow winks and red hearts.

We get to work, or school and forget

Those whose thighs pressed up against

Ours, whose fingers we grazed

As we held the pole in one hand

And grasped stability in the other.

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