A Lovesong From Frankenstein’s Monster

After, it is like surgery:
things heal or they don’t,
the stitches pull
or the wound reopens,
offering a spill of fresh grief,
a spark of pain,
the way steel flints
when it is being sharpened—
just enough light
to be a reminder,
but too small
to speak against the night.

Eventually, you tuck it away
like funeral clothes,
the kind of darkness
saved for special occasions,
neatly folded. This is your
clean bill of health:
a crack of silence,
an endless sling
of worried wine,
a hiding place
made of empty hands.

Your heart will still creak
when you get out of bed,
aching the way bones
predict the weather,
your steps laced
with uneven memories,
an unsteady
catch of breath,
a tremble
that threatens
your morning coffee—
things you learn to live with,
for instance, cold sheets,
a skipping pulse,
the way one stretch
of memory
can throw off
your whole alignment.

But when someone asks
how you are doing
after the fact, you smile,
but don’t make eye contact,
say fine, say
it only hurts when I’m
alive. Say
stop looking
too closely
sometimes, the repairs
only ever make it worse.

(Editors’ Note: “A Lovesong From Frankenstein’s Monster” is read by Amal El-Mohtar on the Uncanny Magazine Podcast, Episode 18B.)


Ali Trotta

Ali Trotta is a poet, editor, dreamer, word-nerd, and unapologetic coffee addict. Her poetry has appeared in Uncanny, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Nightmare, Fireside, Strange Horizons, Mermaids Monthly, and Cicada magazines, as well as in The Best of Uncanny from Subterranean Press. She has a poem forthcoming in Asimov’s. Her short fiction has appeared in Curtains, a flash fiction anthology. A geek to the core, she’s previously written TV show reviews for Blastoff Comics, as well as a few personal essays. Ali’s always scribbling on napkins, looking for magic in the world, and bursting into song. When she isn’t word-wrangling, she’s being a kitchen witch, hugging an animal, or pretending to be a mermaid. Follow her on Twitter as @alwayscoffee or subscribe to her TinyLetter. Four of her poems, including three for Uncanny, were Rhysling Award nominees.

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