I muse over mason jars and hermetic seals on the subway,
the efficacy of drier sheets and cologne on tissue paper
dabbed along the gap between bathroom door and frame;
I worry about wet towels and thresholds, the reliability of
air vents and the resilience of toilet seats if it’s cold outside.
In chorus, I count ashes appearing, slouched over a laptop
that mirrors my thirst with cotton swabs dipped in alcohol
and run between the keys to make them smell of hospitals.
The Reversomatic hums and masks the striker wheel;
I count to ten and exhale, thinking
there are more important things in life than living a long time.
The New Language
Does texting make you feel like you taped a cardboard cutout of yourself to yourself and called it a lifestyle choice? Does it make your tongue spend too much time in your pocket? Does it make it seem like your loved ones hate you based on where they placed a comma?
Well, have I got something for you!
Introducing the latest innovation in communication technology:
Your Voice™! Trademark 2015.
The first app that customizes how you speak.
Your Voice™ connects directly into your brain so it knows exactly what you want to say. It’s compatible with every phone in the world! It allows you to choose your own tone.
As you can hear, I chose to sound like the love child of an upright bass and a lawn mower. Like I just woke up five minutes ago all day.
Your Voice™ ensures that you are rarely misunderstood by using your tone as a dictionary for your words.
Your Voice™ sounds exactly how you feel.
It can also speak through your eyes, hands and lips when words will not suffice. With the right words, it can make flowers in rifles mean something again.
Your Voice™ can turn water into wine by asking more questions than it answers. It allows you to play the lottery for free by sharing your dreams with strangers. It includes a second Voice™ for the inside of your head so you can speak to yourself in private.
This is why “maybe” is the hardest lie for Your Voice™ to tell.
It can’t remove your foot from your mouth, but it will cough and clear your throat to buy you a little time. It can pledge allegiance to the geography of someone’s smile and grant you a permanent residency.
Your Voice™ is guaranteed for your lifetime, but could outlast you by centuries. The choice is yours!
Now for a demonstration:
SUITOR: Want to go for coffee?
Thank you very much.
Listen gang, that exchange would have taken roughly seventeen hours to complete over text message. Instead it took three seconds, leaving them sixteen hours, fifty-nine minutes and fifty-seven seconds to try again with different people. Or watch Netflix alone to the crunch of Doritos with peace of mind.
Gang, do you want peace of mind? Well, you’re in luck! Because you’re all going home with your own Voices™ tonight!
This isn’t Oprah. There’s no need to check under your seats! They’re pre-installed and ready to go! To activate them, can we all please yell out our first names on three?
One, two, three!
Congratulations! You are now the proud owners of the only app that can change the world.
That’s Your Voice™!
TREVOR ABES is a poet and arts writer living in Toronto. He was part of the winning ensemble at the 2015 SLAMtario Spoken Word Festival, and competed in both the National Poetry Slam and the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word as part of the Toronto Poetry Slam team. His work has appeared in the Hart House Review, The Rusty Toque, Torontoist, and untethered, among others. You can say hello at trevorabes.com or follow him on Twitter @TrevorAbes.