Photo of clouds and a blue sky.
Photo by Y. Cai on Unsplash
A Neural Net Names Me and Everyone I Know


If you put all the messages you have ever sent
into one place, what would the word cloud
make itself into

As children, we traced shapes in the sky
counted up the ways in which we found
order but we made it seem
like magic

How you and I could see the same thing
in the same patch of sky
there is a something there

In impossible shapes, we find
faces, lips, the shape of a nose

The collarbone of the man I love
is one I think I could trace in the dark
and know it’s him
but even our fingertips can
be liars

If the messages we send all end
in the same place, mix into
one another, can we still
find out who we are

If a computer had to recreate me
from the things I’ve typed
would it reform me

Reaffirm me
is there a me there
in keystrokes, not my fingertips

Stroking against skin,
running down a tree trunk,
thinking there is a map
in the bark

Finding a way out
I can see it
can you see it

There’s something there
not magic
but the pattern seems
the same
eventually