To My Sister On the Day I Became a Website

This is to tell you I’ve given up on my humanity. Personhood
shouldn’t be so hard. Must our politics and the crisp edges
of brownies at the outskirts of every pan be so polarizing? I know
I know that it was naive of me to think we should be
able to go around eating the things that hang
before us like ripened figs or tangerines, tomatoes or green
beans simply because we’re animals and the small gods
we worship have been oh so good to us. I’ve tried to live
a good life, in the light reflected by the silver faces
of the gods, a life full of good food and people who nurture
everything they touch, but lately I’ve had a hard time
feeling a single blessing in any one of my many bones. Yesterday
the world whispered it wanted to heap itself on top of me
while I laid in bed so I got up and carved myself a digital cave
where I could go with my work to be happy. I went to
the kitchen and made two blueberry toaster waffles
and covered them in syrup and butter. I just want
to make something beautiful and for people to feel satisfied.
I want to make everyone a carrot cake waffle without raisins
with a cream cheese sauce for dipping and watch
as their faces glow in amazement because they’re eating
vegetables and desert and a waffle and breakfast
all at the same time. I know I have lofty dreams, but
what is a dream if not some grand thing twinkling far off
in the distance? The world should be full of wonder,
at least more than it is, but it’s hard when you’re as full
of shit as I am. I think I’ve manufactured my own unhappiness
to a degree. After breakfast, I sat down and registered my domain.
I selected pictures that would tell people that I was
just the right amounts sad and severe. I created
a few pages so people would know I had depth then
optimized myself for the search rocket engines.
I’m now paying $5.95 a month (and I’m billed annually) to live
inside computers. I sleep more here than I did in the world
and nobody bothers to visit. I became a bot with a face and things to say
and since I’ve been standing on this high ridge shouting into
a martian gully so vast and deep I can’t begin to see its bottom.

Tommy Jarrell.jpg

Tommy Jarrell was born and raised in Maryland. He earned his MFA at the University of California, Irvine in 2015. His work has appeared in The Squaw Valley Review and 805. He currently lives, writes, and teaches in Los Angeles. You can find him online at or on twitter @tommyjay24.