• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 09
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Routine Maintenance

Some days, Doc, all my gears
jam up. I feel exposed, my
innards laid bare to the world.

The mechanics of the body
don’t make things easy:
At times my whirring organs

undermine my consciousness.
I’m afraid to look you in the eyes:
I don’t want to know your diagnosis.

The prognosis is, I suspect, not good.
We will not be celebrating: I will be
wiped clean, dismantled, sold off

piecemeal. May the same fate
befall you. May your brain overheat,
your heart pump to its cold content,

your lungs deflate as you slip
into a coma. Then you will know
what I feel and I will know the human

heart—so magnificent, so persistent—
has its limits. Like the calm surface
of a lake before we venture in,

the heart beckons us to break
it—as you have mine.