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Mark Zuckerberg and I

“I’ve become obsessed,” writes the poet Branden Walsh, “with trying to understand the compulsions and sickness of a society that believes billionaires are a healthy/natural component of civilization.” He tries here to humanize just one.

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Mark Zuckerberg and I

By Brendan Walsh

Mark Zuckerberg and i get tacos at a little place

nobody knows about. he says it’s as close to the real thing

as you can get in the states, and i have to trust him

Mark Zuckerberg and i get fitted in suits for a fancy party.

the suit might be perfect, but i don’t think i fit in with this crowd.

he says don’t worry about it, be yourself, you’re so cool

Mark Zuckerberg and i rent a tandem bike just to goof off,

we get going pretty fast for a while, looping through streets

like a falcon, each of us a single wing, but he has to stop

and take a call; it’s business. it’s always business

Mark Zuckerberg and i play darts once a week

at a dive bar a few miles away. it’s cool to talk and drink

pitchers of cheap beer like the old days. i don’t see him

as much anymore, but i know he’s super busy

Mark Zuckerberg and i take a vacation to the Azores,

no families, only us, some good vinho verde, mountains, and the spa.

i’m short on cash towards the week’s end but he spots me

and tells me not to worry about it

Mark Zuckerberg and i testify before Congress. i’m there

for moral support. He was freaking out about it, but i told him

it’s totally fine. You’re the expert dude, i say, and he seems

calm and stops biting his thumbnail and tapping his left foot

Mark Zuckerberg and i go to a field with an old handgun

his grandpa left him in a will or something--we shoot up

at the stars and pretend the bullets lodge deep in the galaxy.

Think about how tiny we are, he says, and we’re quiet for a minute

Mark Zuckerberg and i don’t talk as much anymore.

We’ll text an inside joke every few weeks but he’s sort of lost

in work and doesn’t know what he wants to become.

One night he texts me real late and i don’t see it until morning;

dude, he says, i feel like none of this matters, like, what’s

the point? And that’s it, and i’m worried for a second

that he did something drastic, but when i call he picks up,

sounds tired. Remember the tandem bike, he says,

i felt like we could have just lifted off the ground and left this behind.

Brendan Walsh has lived and taught in South Korea, Laos, and South Florida. His work appears in Rattle, Glass Poetry, Indianapolis Review, Baltimore Review, American Literary Review, and other journals. He is the author of five books, including 'Go' (Aldrich Press), 'Buddha vs. Bonobo' (Sutra Press), and 'fort lauderdale' (Grey Book Press). He’s online at www.brendanwalshpoetry.com.