We could read your words from anywhere
but you felt like the only soul sitting
in your swivel chair listening to your parents
dream-breathing down the hall while you typed
to boys from Kelowna and Trinidad about
your boredom and body. You blogged
about the three-legged moose you saw
on the highway to Terrace, the lonely red
radio light on top of a mountain. A boy
from Michigan called you on the phone.
His voice reminded you of a TV show.
It was dawn there, Detroit already falling
like an ancient empire. In the photo he sent
his face was obscured by a trucker hat.
Was the internet a series of tubes, or something
scientists kept in a room in California?
Did a robot army of spiders weave its connections?
In every post, you were the lonely red radio light
we could see from the airport but never get close to.
You gave virtual blowjobs, saw how other
kids in other towns cut themselves, how other
kids walked around other ice rinks with other
problems and frenemies. After school
you lived different versions of the same.
What’s your favourite colour? Sometimes yellow,
mostly red. Who’s your best friend?
What’s the one thing you’ll never forget?
Listen to me, Lonely Radio, I sat behind you
in Spanish. Your hair kept changing colours —
black, purple, black, red, a beautiful lightshow.
Years later, an online boy you loved
was shot dead by his teenaged wife.
Another internet friend messaged you about it.
In the news article, you could see the wife’s photo
but not his. Lonely Radio, you haven’t written
in a while. I think of you every time I fly
from Terrace with Styrofoam coffee and the sun
closing red behind the mountains — please
write, please tell us that you’re fine.