just before they finish assembling you they take a hammer to your heart
then seal it inside your chest. you grow up with perpetual palpitations.
the doctors tell you to take it easy but even when you are lying in bed
at night you can hear the faint creaking and groaning of a struggle waged
inside a cavity that might be better off empty than with oil leaking from
your arteries. the mechanic who fixes your car says you’re doomed. you
take the keys from him, heart pounding, and drive to the ocean though they
say the salt water causes rust. you think about removing it. you think
about how easy it would be, just have someone say a few words, a eulogy
for the already broken, and it would be over. his voice echoes in your head:
you were never good enough. you have a faulty heart, you protest, you can’t
do anything about it. you seek donors, but they aren’t really donors: they’re
just people you watch and mimic when they say things like, i love you. your
programming prevents you from saying these three monosyllabic words. romantic
movies are the best: you practice the words over and over again, i’ll never leave
and baby, come here. you say them in the mirror but your mouth moves too
slowly from the salt water rust. you touch your pie-tin face and your hands squeal
as they drop to your sides. you put a bowl of food out: silly humans, they have it so easy.


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