Some assembly was required, I told you.

Be more open about yourself, you said.

I let you take a scalpel to my chest,

to part the flytrap jaws of my ribcage

& retrieve the device that began to hum

26 years ago during an Indiana blizzard.

A dozen whirring gears of bronze & electrum

interlocking teeth & spinning cogs.

Were you surprised what a life looked like?

Were you surprised what my life looked like?

Fifteen pounds of metal: a clicking, grunting

analog computer, a star clock; programmed

to mark the steps in a waltz of galaxies.


Jonathan Louis Duckworth received his MFA from Florida International University. His fiction, poetry, and non-fiction appears in New Ohio Review, Fourteen Hills, Meridian, Tupelo Quarterly, Jabberwock Review, Superstition Review, Flash Fiction Online, and elsewhere.