by C. Kubasta


              “Many of our passwords are suffused with pathos, mischief,
                        sometimes even poetry.”

I do not know what I am agreeing to
when I am agreeing
yet I click the button that signifies I agree.

In the aftermath of tragedy, you may get a call, asking
personal questions: “What is your wedding anniversary?
Tell me again where he went for undergrad? You guys
have a dog, don’t you? What’s her name? You
have two children. Can you give me their birth dates?”1

Or, in the aftermath of a more personal tragedy, you may admit
to keeping the beloved alive online, through the still-active Gmail account.
You may call this: a memorial to the beloved.
You may call this: a trespass into the beloved’s once-inviolate once-life.

You may call this intrusion love. I agree.

You may tell secrets to yourself through the codes of online interactions.

No one will know but you. Even the dark screen, the crash, the x’s for eyes
is only coincidence. No one knows

you have fallen off the domain
your trust relationship has been broken with the server



1 The epigraph and these quotations from Ian Urbina's New York Times Magazine article “The Secret Lives of Passwords”; these questions were asked as part of the recovery efforts after 9/11, to discover the passwords of employees less than 24 hours after the towers fell.




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