I can be happily

engrossed in some
          have my head stuck in
looking out at the
          noticing the new

admiring the curve of
          fixed on the way a
lost in the latest
          and oblivious to

I can be enjoying a quiet
          browsing the latest
choosing between
          or flicking through

taking in all the
          catching up on my
touching base with 
          planning an overdue

I can be peering over at
          preparing a small
getting ready for
          in the queue

looking forward to a
          when suddenly I
out of nowhere
          picture you


A year next week
and today I’m being 

asked to confirm 
my humanity.

Select all squares
with motorcycles.

Select all squares
with traffic lights.

I am not a bot
and nor were you. 

About the Author

Paul Stephenson has published three pamphlets: Those People (Smith/Doorstop, 2015), The Days that Followed Paris (HappenStance, 2016) and Selfie with Waterlilies (Paper Swans Press, 2017). He holds an MA in Creative Writing from the Manchester Writing School. He co-curates the Poetry in Aldeburgh festival and currently lives between Cambridge and Brussels.


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