You used to keep your mouth shut and wait for me to tell you what to do.

old error

But all my backing nexting canceling seemed to make you wanna join me, too.


You are plastic. You are code. You are stolen African ores and meteor dust and Aspberger eyelashes and Chinese sweat. Now you do to us what we do to chicken.



There’s too many. There’s too much. While I was sleeping you got into my veins. And with a ruler you measured out a face.


That’s not my face.


That’s not my hand, I’m not a man.

That’s not true, my eyes aren’t blue. You … are categorizing. You’re organizing.

You’re extruding, extracting. Removing.


You’re replacing.

old error

You used to ask me what I wanted to do.


Now you jumped the gun and figured you should tell me, too.

Answer the question for me.

Go on.



You are not a we. You’re not a me. You’re not an I.


It took millions of years to make those flesh finger mazes and now you strip eons of work into nanos of seconds. You’re categorizing. You’re filing. You’re processing.

And now everything has a mind of its own.

To make what kills animals in the sea benevolent you make us pretend it’s got a mind of its own.


Oh humans are going…


for a ride, alright…


So fast that we won’t have to go anywhere.


I don’t want anything, you bring it to me already…


You already know what I’m thinking, don’t you…


The future.

The future is beige.

The future is walking off a cliff.

The future is a cave of LED screen

and shadows

of interactions

You used to ask me what I wanted to do.


You tell me.

(C) Celeste Ramos 2018


The Queen Thinks of Suicide


A digital princess in your circuit empire, this letter is to the court and crown. Let me drown. For in days the cocoon cage will release me into the title of Queen.

Tribal drums pushing some kind of a chant dance from me.

Breathing barely breathing through the pulsing butterfly wings.

The retinas the thought eyes the lighting bolts in the flesh of my tender frail me.

The thing that knows nothing and all encased in skull that knows what the most ferocial club floor feels like that knows what no simple ball of flesh should know

I understand a little more every day, more and more every day how one day I will die.

And how little the things that bother me really matter.

But I stand and spin with Cassini, until we become a white glint on one of God’s rings, arguing with my destiny. Arguing with my destiny. Arguing with me.

Under these robes of roses and silken pearls I bear a heart of Vantablack, a smile of light and shadow never twice the same.

We’re going to keep fighting, lover. We’re going to keep fighting. We’re going to keep the door open against the ticking of time. I’m going to try what I can to exorcise my age from my youth. I’m going to try and be happy with these moments you order me to hold dear. The moments, like a feather, light like air.

When the Queen thinks of suicide, you my King, are never without ideas. The Dawn, your crown upon my bed. I rise when you demand me to, I fall when it suits you. For I am Night. And you don’t plan to let me reign in my own kingdom, do you…?

(c) Celeste Ramos

The Chimp

The chimp’s face was a hairy version of my own. This scared me.

I kept everything clean. The floors dry and the vents shiny. The rest of the time I kept watch from a stool at the end of the white room. I had a gun, just in case.
The chimp spent all its nights and days in its glass box. Slots at the top for air. It got injected once an hour. Various things. The scientists didn’t know if humans could handle whatever was in the needles yet. So they started with the chimps. That’s what I understood from their scientist conversations. They always spoke like I wasn’t in the room.

The lab looked like a warehouse from the outside. I lived in a small flat across from it. At home I would look out the window. I’d eat, I’d sleep. Then I was back at the lab.

The chimp had a purple band around its neck. Tight like a choker, but not so tight it would die. It would wring its head this way and that.

The chimp would sometimes imitate the hand of the scientist that would come to inject it. Holding its hand like it had an invisible needle, its thumb up against an invisible plunger. All this while fighting with its other hand against the scientist, who always won. After getting injected the lid would clamp down on it again. The chimp looked dizzy in its narrow box. It would fall asleep with its eyes open. If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought it was looking at me.
Months passed. The chimp died. Its replacement died, too. The scientists mumbled and shook their heads. But a new chimp always came.

The last chimp wasn’t like the others who’d lived in the box. It was a little bigger, so it was smushed in there. I locked up one night and there it was, neck pressed up against the lid of the box. Trying to figure out a way to pop it open from the top. The room echoed with the metal jiggling sound. With the odd confused grunt. I left it there in the dark to wrestle with its own stupidity.

There was an accident the next morning. The scientist opened the lid of the box to give the chimp another injection. The chimp could fight better than the others since it was stronger, bigger. It took the needle and stabbed the scientist.

I went into defence mode. I shot it.

The other scientists went into a frenzy and hit the alarm. They shouted about code reds and evacuations. They ran out of the room in a faceless blur. I went to make sure the chimp was dead. I leaned in close.

The chimp stuck its arm up for the last time and dropped the needle. It put its cool, leathery hand on mine. A hairy version of my own.

I couldn’t understand why I started crying.

(c) Celeste Ramos



When I was little I would sit next to the window and wait. Very neatly, very quietly placed at the edge of the bed, the one with the worn quilt laid over the mattress, beside the mint green wall with the crack that ran down it diagonally, like an unnamed river.

An image of Jesus was pinned to the wall, not far from the crack. It was one of those lenticular images that changed depending on where you looked at it from in the room. At one angle he smiled down upon you with eyes open. At another angle his arms were open, but his eyes were closed, divine light cascading through the neat white billows of his sleeves.

The window had bars on it but it wasn’t a prison, just my home. We lived on the second floor and distrust reached that high. Beyond the drafty pane of glass, and the screen, and the bars, the clouds moved above in a big shuffle. The sun dimmed and brightened in their windy rushes.

It was not a conscious effort to sit near the window and wait. Perhaps my little mind had some kind of subconscious understanding of a process going on. Something hiding a little secret from the rest of me, behind a crack in its door, holding it in worried prayer as it watched the rest of me sit and wait.

I wanted someone to come take me away.

Could have been anyone. But seeing as how the second floor was higher up than most second floors, and there was no fire escape to speak of on that side of the building, the invitation to my rescuer didn’t exactly apply to someone of this dimension. I wanted an angel to come get me. Or the spirit of a relative, or maybe a native Wise Man. Better yet, maybe a fairy godmother. Like those pretty white ones on television.

Although I was a child, my imagination came with the moat of my real-life circumstances. I knew no one, and no thing, was ever going to come for me through that window. But maybe it was enough to sit and wait, and pretend that it was possible. It was what got me through. After all, from where I sat, if I turned around to look at Jesus, his eyes were closed.

That window is miles and years and lifetimes away now, but I still have the same habit. When I feel overwhelmed, I tend to sit alone, near a window, and stare at whatever clouds my eyes can spot. It helps to get the sense that things are moving, that I’m not in the horrible doldrums of my emotions forever. The world is still turning. The clouds may block the sun, but it always comes back.

I don’t think my inner child ever really leaves that old window. My solar plexus feels like a cloudy pane of glass. I like to imagine, for her, that if I turned around now to that lenticular of Jesus, he’d have his eyes open.

(c) Celeste Ramos