LIFE SIGNS, Jesse Rice-Evans

Life Signs
by Jesse Rice-Evans

after Star Trek: Voyager S02E19

Before you, I was just a mass of photons held together by a force field:
11 compound fractures,
3 appendectomies,
2,128 medical textbooks.
Several clinical studies have shown humor to be therapeutic; consider it part of your treatment.

Call me by my first name: what should I call you?

I know you don’t have a name; would it be alright if I gave you one?

Good thing we’re both holograms; if you think it’s best, make me laugh, take me to the place with holo-emitters, where we can almost touch.

Holograms don’t get crushes, I’ve been told. What is this rush of light particles, this portable emitter that projects my skin, the static where our hands meet.

I am experiencing periodic lapses
in cognitive concentration, so even though
I’m adaptive, I’m used to being empty.

I’m used to being in control of my faculties,
but lately I find myself thinking of nothing
but you.

I feel unsettled; hypothetically, I want to pursue closeness. Hypothetically, I’ll never know anything if you remain deactivated.

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About barkingsycamores 183 Articles
Barking Sycamores is a literary journal entirely edited and operated by queer neurodivergent people of color. We publish poetry, artwork, short fiction (beginning with Issue 3), creative nonfiction (beginning with Issue 8), and hybrid genre work (beginning with Issue 9) by emerging and established neurodivergent writers as well as essays on neurodiversity and literature and book reviews (beginning with Issue 10).

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