Size / / /

But it doesn't matter

that part of this memory is a simulation.

One night I watched my boyfriend play videogames.

I was unsure of him, still. I suspected

he would hurt or ignore me soon.

In the game he found a dungeon—you know the kind,

with stone walls and giant rats,

littered with skeletons.

One set of bones was too small, a child or infant,

beautifully rendered in yellow-white and gray,

in a small wooden coffin. It sat on a table

as if someone had casually set it there,

with the candles and the ancient books.

It seemed cruel of the designers to just set it there.

He kept going back to it, the crosshair

of his point of view hovered over the ribcage.

I realize he didn't even notice he was doing it.

His brow tightened, the controller

still in his hands. There was sadness

in the room that was human.

And the dungeon wasn't real, or the child,

or the future, and the thread between us

was, likewise, a construction of our minds.

But these things are important

and I am beginning to think of them

a little more.




Leslie J. Anderson's writing has appeared in Asimov’s, Uncanny Magazine, Daily Science Fiction, and Apex. She currently lives in a small white house beside a cemetery with three good dogs and a Roomba.
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