What We Have Lost

The contract you sign when you trade in nature for a box of metal

by Clay Laucella / Garnet & Black

a casual affair,

that’s what the proposal stated.

the waves--

they whispered in a salty spray, 

begging me to remain nestled 

among the crystals of the beach. 

maybe if it wasn’t high tide,

i would have put up a fight.

but instead,

i let you pull me into your waters. 

gently and cautiously, 

you ripped me away 

from everything i had ever known,

pulling me past the fading corals

into the abyss.

still--it wasn’t anything more

than infatuation.

the desire to hold you

and your parasites of apps,

because everyone else

had already had their turn.

i admit i wanted to be a part

of your underwater treasure, 

exploring the never-ending scenery

one swipe at a time. 

but i hit the iceberg 

sooner than i thought.

without warning, 

the tsunami crashed in, 

destroying everything in its path.

it was too late.

hiding behind you,

my laugh


my personality


how was i supposed to jump into life

and land into a tide pool 

of new interests and hobbies

when you were 

decompartmentalizing me?

how was i supposed to stray

from the horizontal lines

within the stepped leader, 

when the algorithms trapped me 

inside their waves? 

how could i do anything

when i was just your puppet on a string?

now i don’t know what it means

to connect face-to-face.

i’ll call, 

but only if your moonlight shell touches my ear.

i'll talk,

but only if i can see the weightless blue bubbles

popping up on my screen. 

there’s nothing wrong 

with wanting to stay in touch.

but when touch becomes lost

and our metal boxes replace our larynx, 

only then do we realize how twisted we are 

in the spiderweb of disconnection.

only when we put our ears to the hills 

and listen closely that we witness 

they are no longer alive with music 

but endless tapping.

only then do we realize 

how detached we are 

from the grasslands, 

the prairies and the coves. 

we are all lost in the haze. 

too invested in

creating the perfect picture,

texting the funniest meme,

filming the video that one day

will go viral. 

i keep telling myself

i’m just one click away

from stepping out of my cocoon 

and venturing outside 

the brick walls of social media.

from breaking this contract

and reconnecting with the sweet melody nature sings, 

taking a sample of nature’s perfume.

but in this age of technology

that we’ve created,

in this age of virtual hangouts

and communicating through texts,

the fundamentals of friendship are broken

and i don’t know how to mend the gaps

from online to IRL.