Follower by Emma Jo Black

they started following you 
a couple weeks ago
you were eating chia seeds for breakfast 
and they liked it
from then on, you took them everywhere you went in your pocket
and you felt a little less alone

your followers came with you to the supermarket
watched you pick out a zero plastic toothbrush
they lay beside you on your pillow 
as you whispered in the dark
growing closer 
with every story you shared

you answered all of the questions that your followers had
showed them your face with no makeup for the first time
but they didn’t comment
you missed your loneliness a little, tried to find it again
but with nobody to watch
you were no one

you had a chat with your followers
apologized for all the things you’d done without them
told them how much you’d missed them, how deeply you cared,
understood, cradled close in the palm of their hand;
is only real when shared


Emma Jo Black is a Paris-born poet and visual artist of Irish, French and American nationalities. They bridge seas through poetry and cultural anthropology, investigating migration paths and experiences of liminality. Jo has worked with indigenous leaders in Colombia, left stray feathers in Berlin and stalked the streets of Dublin as a vampire. Their stage performances combine poetry, physical theatre and drag in order to celebrate the queer and the unknowable in each of us.

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