by Tyhe Cooper
Tyhe Cooper is a writer working in experimental prose and poetry. They are the Production Editor and a poetry events curator at the Brooklyn Rail.
A Real Modern Poem
A man in his sixties named Chris—or a robot—likes all of my Instagram posts within the same minute and on his profile he has a photo of himself in blue scrubs and he says “I love to be Loved”
And I post that on my Instagram story for 45 of my Close Friends to see
And I repeat it to myself like a prayer: while I sit down to pee, while I run my hot feet under cold water, while I tell my roommate I don’t like his pants, while I walk out of my jeans and leave them on the rug in my bedroom
All my Close Friends keep responding to the Instagram story saying “same” and “me too” and “oh no” and “block him” and I keep messaging them back and saying, He loves to be Loved and that’s not a crime and I want to love to be Loved too, like a wish on a star, or an Instagram message request that stays in that little folder with all the sex robots who say “I love to be fucked.” And they use all the right emojis like true geniuses.
And on the way home from the eye doctor today I stopped at one bagel shop and one coffee shop, and I thought about poems in HTML code, and I listened to past-tense Youtube Erin say, “I’m girl tired and I’m around” and I threw my arms out to the sides elbows first to make room, and I sent her a voice message that said “Erin I am walking past a loud vent and so many runners,” and tried to fit my enthusiasm out of my throat like trying to get toothpaste back inside the tube.
I’m listening to Ethel Cain on the big couch and not answering the texts from my crush even though I keep looking at her BeReal. I was gonna post an Instagram story about that and it was gonna say “Waiting For My Crush To Post Her BeReal,” but then she posted her BeReal, so the time expired, but there’s always tomorrow.
Kayhl says the hoodie is the most iconic silhouette since the suit jacket and I agree. This is a poem like a hoodie is a tuxedo, this poem is a Juul on the big screen.
This weekend Pei and I are going to the fancy stores to try on men’s suits we can’t afford and get eyed down by the people who work there even though they’re just like us in their coats. And even if we don’t do it we’ll have already done it just by saying we will. We sat on the quilt that used to be my grandma’s and tried to look up men in suits who looked good so that we could be just like them but we’re wading through google images and I’m saying “You know we just keep running up against the problem that men really aren’t that good looking” and she sort of agrees with me, so I pull up photos of Hugh Grant in a t-shirt, and try to explain why men will always look better in pajama pants than on a red carpet.
And then I put on my pajama pants and my t-shirt and when I wake up this morning I take a photo of myself in the mirror and I post it on my Close Friends Instagram story and I say “I like to take photos of myself in the morning if I look a little too canonically like I just woke up.”
And the Groundhog sees his shadow.