8 Plus, by Adison Nadler

I live on my phone. I take refuge in my pocket. I pull debit cards out of a sticky wallet on my back.

My brain absorbs words, clings to interactions, floods with thoughts. I get paralyzed responding to a “hello” text. The auto-correct feature has transcended spelling. It underlines tones and subtexts. Does my “hey” sound too casual? Too formal? Will you think I’m going to kill you? Maybe not if I add a smiley face.

Instagram and Twitter are my living room. My living vicariously, room. Get it? No worries if not!

Tiny screen in my pocket. I jump into you like cyberchase. Like that one boy in Willy Wonka. The hold you have on me is the indent in my pinky from the hold I have on you. Will you atrophy my brain or body, first?

I stir the pot with you. I read things I will never hear. I know people I will never meet. I say things to you I would never say out loud. Are we best friends?

Small, tiny rectangle, covered in cracks. I fall and check your face for bruises before I check my own. You hold texts from my mom and I let them sit in you. Nice device with no read receipts, texting is my bedroom, I fall asleep to friends sending Tik Toks and tips to fight seasonal depression.

I am so small and reachable. I am five and a half inches tall. You can access me from Perth, Australia, which is the farthest point on the map from New York, which I know because I googled it. We googled it. You, me, we think the same things. You answer a question as fast as I can type it. You make me question everything. Google won’t tell me if that email I sent was weird.

Tiny, baby, infant device, I got you on your fifth birthday and traded you in on your eighth.

Little, tiny, invisible-if-you-turn-it-sideways, but I would never turn you sideways, I would miss the scroll that gives me serotonin.

I stare at you while I walk through the forest. I swat at buzzes in my ear and race to buzzes in my pocket. The world around me falters at my fingertips.

I live in the world at my fingertips.

Dainty, tiny, little, you make me as small as the girls on my explore page. People can measure my width in millimeters. When we are together, I don’t want to sleep. Maybe it’s the blue light. They make glasses for that!

Petite, micro, microcosm. I wake up to you, in you, already on you. What did I miss while we were apart! Six hours, I’ll never do it again! Promise to keep me awake all night, I love you, tiny, mini, baby box. You fit in my pocket like a coin, in my hand like a glove… In my skull like a brain.

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