By Yael Veitz

We make do with facsimile

Our friends two-dimensional, lapsing into pixels.


We shake off the burden,

dust off the long-forgotten skill of pretending.


We are not where we are. This isn’t happening.


We forget we have bodies.

We rest somewhere outside space,

our limbs dissected, floating.


Starved for life, we rekindle the wrong flames,

Our bodies crave them.


What do they care about peril?

“Give us touch,” they cry.

“Sex, strangers, serendipity!

Give us brunch served with someone else’s silverware!”


Can you blame them? They don’t know.

They scream so loud we almost heed their protests—


Then someone calls.


They sound weary, or fearful, or desperate.

It’s their father, their sister, their friend.

Our ears prick at the word “ventilator.”


We re-enter our bodies, thank them, bid them be patient,

quieting our yearnings with more touchscreen hellos.


Yael Veitz (she/her) is a New York-based poet and professional empath. Her works, which have appeared in The Ogilvie, Coffin Bell, Sheila-Na-Gig, and Castabout, among others, reflect her geographically-diverse background, her work in mental health, and, occasionally, her love for her cats. Her website is and her Facebook.  

This piece is a part of DISTANCED 2.0.

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