My Utility Monster

Photo and Text by Jasper Lo

In the darkness of dawn
it's only groggy and tired
an absence, a quiet
commensurate with the still of morning.

It wakes with me
rolls into my sheets and towards the wall
drinks the coffee I drink
reads what I read;
it's part of every input
a machinist at the console
comes alive as I do
until it's fully awake.
And it becomes he.
And he starts with his questions.

What are you doing?
Why are you doing that?
You missed.
Checking your phone again?
Really, this?
Really, that?

His bites, a steady stream of texts
that crick in my neck, 
and he reaches my eyes again
tugs them, kicks them, scratches and rips;
a Muppets set,
out of tune and broken:
repetition, set, repetition, set.

And I click
And I play calmer music
And I play it louder
And I tap my keyboard
And I drink coffee
And I stand up
And I sit down
And from a low roar, he shouts now

No turtle shell to retreat in;
most times we prefer great heights,
security in vantage and sightlines.
One doesn't prefer the trench,
but we fight in them anyway.