Desktop Lover, by Pris Campbell

Pris Campbell

He lives on my desktop, flirts
between emails and deleted spam.

The perfect lover, he never complains
or eyes other women, remains as dashing
today as yesterday and the mounting
days before that one.

The dead follow their own path,
leave half-used tubes of toothpaste
or shirts fresh with their scent
for us to cling to in unwanted vigil.

Memories piggyback his grin
and I touch my computer screen
nightly as he fades, hope he might
yet grasp my hand, allow me
to pull him back from that
runaway train of time.

Author’s Comment: I recently put a photo I liked of an old love, now long dead, on my desktop. When I shut the computer down the icons disappeared, leaving him briefly alone on the screen until he dropped off, too. It soon began to feel as if I was watching him die all over again every night. I took the image off.

Bio: Pris Campbell’s poetry and haiga have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize. Her most recent published collection of poetry out of six collections in print is Postscripts to the Dead by MiPOesias Press. Visit her About Me page on her website at for a complete listing of these collections, links to reviews, and purchasing information if interested. Formerly a Clinical Psychologist she has lived in the mid-west, Hawaii, and New England before settling in the West Palm Beach, FL area following a meandering six month trip down the east coast in a 22 foot sailboat. Her book, Sea Trails, is a belated product of that trip.

5 thoughts on “Desktop Lover, by Pris Campbell

  1. I can see why Scott connected this poem with the last one – it seems to follow-on in unintended sequence, though vastly different in time and space. Pris has the ability to compress a lifetime into an instant, once more using a very few words; and once more she encapsulates that longing, but with the wisdom gained from experience. Another excellent poem in this ‘sequence’.

    • Geoff, thank you so much for taking time to comment on my poem with so much thoughtfulness behind your words.

      • Pris, you know how much I always enjoy your poems (even when I can’t quite understand them!); but seeing them here in this unintended sequence somehow gives them an extra resonance – the harmonics rising from their juxtaposition, if you like.

  2. I really like the third stanza: “The dead follow their own path” and “in unwanted vigil.” Also the final image “runaway train of time.” Such specific details: the toothpaste tube. Pris, you put me there; I can see him.

    • Thank you , Helen. I appreciate you telling me what worked for you in the poem and for taking the time to comment.

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