If I Had Had Twitter in 1998 by Alisha Erin Hillam
Associate poetry editor Jacqueline Boucher on today's bonus poem: Alisa Erin Hillam’s “If I Had Had Twitter in 1998” moves expertly from the nostalgia its title suggests to a deep meditation on desire: the desire to save and the desire to be seen. It desires boldly and lands in a place you’ll want to stay awhile.
If I Had Had Twitter in 1998
I would have been Leonardo DiCaprio’s most dedicated
follower. I would have saved the Antarctic Ocean at age fourteen
at his behest: writing letters to my Congressmen,
campaigning at the lunch table for the penguins,
handing out photos of their downcast beaks, their black and white wings flung wide
in pleas to my classmates. Instead of playing mini-golf
or hanging out at the mall and styling my hair like Kate,
I would have doubled tiger numbers in Nepal. My entire
life’s goals would have been rerouted. I wouldn’t have gone
to Purdue, wouldn’t have married someone else, wouldn’t have
spent hours at my desk writing poetry about the way things might
have been instead. I would have lain in bed at night, surrounded
by his posters plastered to my walls, lulled by the hushed whir
of my computer, and I would have known that just keystrokes
away from me, in the commas, the spaces, the forever-possibility
that he might retweet me, a binary code linked us together,
that if the electrons would admit it, he wanted me more
than he wanted an Oscar. 10,000+ #Elephants killed each yr, tusks sold
for ivory trinkets. Join me & help save them,Leo would have asked,
and I would have been there, you.jump.I.jump, right?
Alisha Erin Hillam grew up outside of a small Indiana town. Now she is a freelance writer residing in Massachusetts with her family. She is the recipient of several literary awards from Purdue University and her work as appeared in decomP, Corium Magazine,Prick of the Spindle, The Monongahela Review, Full of Crow, The Tishman Review,Architrave Press, and Midwestern Gothic, among others.