Child, sever those circuits. Fray
those wires with your boxcutter teeth.
You know, molars live on long after
the fire dies. When I was small,
I used to hide sparklers in my mouth,
coughing up smoke like a car pipe
or an estranged cousin. You don’t flicker
like I did. I scar, you flux. You see it now,
don’t you? How you melt so quietly.
Come along. Look, the sun is bursting
above these dead ends, maw mourning
and sniffing the earth for bodies. And
you are so frail in the light, skin wound
tightly around your chassis. Perhaps
if you touch the sun it will stop seeking
blood. Yes, the mechanic is off duty.
He cannot fix you, all singed clothes
and contraband cigars. His workshop
is filthy, but you are not. Child,
you must not be silly. You are clean
cut steel. Forget genesis. It was not
the hammer nor the anvil, the forge
nor the man. Child, I have always
been your beginning.
No, you will not die tonight
as sheet metal and motor oil.
Dying is the right of the living,
of the mechanic. You, child,
are only alive enough to break.
© 2021 Miriam Alex