Clockwork I remember the day they cut me open. I handed faith to the anesthesia, and in March I died. Almost puncturing a lung. Pulling open flesh, like a moist pita pocket. Scraping that flesh, trying to make space inside me. They carved my muscle with a spoon until a crescented curve allowed rolling room for metal: that handheld clock. Pace Maker Make me a pulse, find me a beat, catch me a breath. Everything is a clock these days. Seconds. Minutes. Pulses. Breaths. Days until the next bill arrives: clocks. A broken, botched heart, sickened by theory. Unattached, unworking, unrevived at times. Perhaps I don’t care about the news now. Or the economy. Or men. Or when the battery will die and inevitably I will die too. Like a robot, I have four antenna attached to my heart: my own screaming leads. Calculated counting each day checking pulses. You know, this means I’ll live longer than you. I might be more bitter too.
The scar: protruding jagged flesh puckered like a worm on a damp morning street. There are days I play with it. Fingering it around, moving it, hitting a nerve—numbing my arm—cackling at that luscious power. Wouldn’t it suffice to rip it out one day, all on my own, with a butter knife? Perhaps after dinner. Near clocks. The time that ticker is working best, that flicker of tedious time when you place your ear eagerly to my chest, gently, to see if I beat. One hand checking pulse, one hand sliding that metal dome on my chest, wondering how are we different now and can you still care. Bitterness is a familiar shade of red, like the burgundy that sits at the bottom of a wine glass waiting for the sex to begin. There is no sex. There are clocks.
Mount Hope is a literary magazine produced at Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI