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GTA & Lana Del Rey

Poetry & Prose | April 6, 2015

when hearts restart, they don’t, really.

they just press pause

on one story mode and

create a new user profile to start another, that way,

no levels are leveled

and

just in case you can’t turn auto-save off

things won’t fall apart

 

entirely.

 

attention: this

is no Lana Del Rey shit, it WAS you, it WAS you, it WAS all for

you until you discovered some cheat codes and

rumors

became realized like re-spawnings on HALO and disks got scratched and no matter

how many times I blew…

things… were never the same, you…

were a level I won only to find out that my

memory card wasn’t plugged in the whole damn time

 

a video game.

a video game

is never the same after you beat it and the same goes for

after

it beats you.

 

some days

i still want to sit you in my white Escalade knockoff on Grand Theft Auto 5 and

drive around like real people….

 

digitally transport you into my

Vinewood and Red Light District reality, throw you in the backseat

and brake at stoplights, stay in the proper lane

honk

whenever a glitchy bitch of a driver cuts me off, like real people

 

i want

to chase you in your Lamborghini Gallardo down the coast, crossing the Palisades on some

Midnight Club mission

on some

Need for Speed shit

playing tag with our taillights and bumpers like we used to with our

toes and bare bodies, sirens

ablaze but the cops could never catch us…

even though some of the shit you did had to have been illegal in 23 states, damn, still—

 

the cops would never catch us.

 

i wish we had played more video games when we were together

but you were too busy playing other games, i see.

 

but that’s all right.

because I will try and convince myself that you are just another analog stick that got stuck

just

another glitch in the game, just

another flaw in the code

and when your words slip away from my memory like sand into a pixelated blue wave on Los Santos beach

i will remember

that no matter how many times my

screen reads ‘wasted’;

games were made to be played over, and over again

and no matter how sore my fingers are

when I reach the big boss and my life points are low

when I take

the hardest hit man mission and get found out

when I crash into the island on the longest race of the course

instead of pressing pause, I’ll take a deep breath and keep playing and rather than pressing ‘start’ I’ll push

‘START’ on my heart like a defibrillating son of a gun because my fingers

are too fast and my skill

is too real and my eyes

are too blurry to play forever.

 

because when hearts restart, they don’t, really.

they just press pause

on one story mode and

create a new user profile to start another, that way,

no levels are leveled

and just in case you can’t turn auto save off,

things won’t fall apart

 

 

entirely.

 

Art by Katherine Mimmack, Zoe Baghdoyan, Francesca Kamio, and Yuchun Bian.