Off-Label Uses of the VR Stock Photo Gallery

Davian Aw

Davian Aw

Davian Aw's poem, "Off-Label Uses of the VR Stock Photo," was originally published in Short Edition’s October '19 Rendez-Vous. Davian is a Rhysling Award nominee whose short fiction and poetry have appeared in over 30 publications. He lives in Singapore with his family.

your macbook open on untreated pine
coffee brimming with a milky fern
cashmere sweater hugging your wrists, the sea
an empty blue past picture windows
home to a single seagull; always

they smile at you, fellow stock people
diverse in perfectly arranged utopia,
their laughter superficial, conversation
that would pass no Turing test; still

when the sepia leaves of the kodak autumn
fall from the trees in dancing whorls
round two of you in the fading light
and they touch your hands, your lips, hold
you in warm embraces on rumpled sheets
gray-white on beds in stormdusk light(n)ing
framing your perfect bodies; you

are here and not here, on a million screens
and nowhere, so exposed,
so hidden.

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