My mother once stepped out of the shower, her crotch 

black and shiny as the Hubble photographs 

they showed us in schoolall those distant disks

of silent burning. But before the internet came

I had never seen a clitoris. The dial up tone rubbed its muzzle 

on the window panes, exhaling ferns of radiation

on the glass. I waited two hours for ten seconds beneath

the bathroom window, my father’s Pentium II heavy 

as a cannonball in my lap. I closed the blinds to cut the glare.

A woman bent over there, shaved pink as the rubber

gloves my mother kept beneath the sink. The internet

salted ice to steam on roads I never knew went through me. 

Now late at night, cobwebbed in laptop light, I turn

and return, but every stumble, facial, and Facebook friend

seem to flee at the same speed as every star

from the earth. Still I hold my finger like a bat

above F5, refreshing what can’t refresh, downloading

what can’t fill me upanything to forget

work, my brother fresh out of central state, the ground

we get put into forever. That’s how I’ve learned, 

before I sleep, to check my history and hit delete.