TWO YEARS AFTER BRAIN SURGERY
I CONTEMPLATE MY HUSBAND'S FORMER SELF
by jessica dubey
After the sculpture, Daddy in the Dark, by John Chamberlain
We watch as a crane picks apart a car.
It reaches in to pull the engine, a vulture
going straight for the belly.
It drops the block onto a pile then turns back
for the carcass, wraps its claw around it,
lets it fall into the crusher
like a used napkin. Its body implodes
right before our eyes.
We have been watching this video
for half an hour. I sit on a stool next to his chair,
notice his fingers coaxing an imaginary controller.
I take his other hand
as a white sedan leaves the crusher, a ghost of a car,
like the one we saw mangled into art,
all the unnatural joints
welded to keep it intact and upright, a bruised heart
nestled in its chromium-plated wreckage,
like a transformer
gone horribly wrong—a car that wants to turn itself
into a rocket ship or a wind chime
I tell him I can’t watch anymore. He hits pause as one more
car dangles above the machinery about to be remade
into something not quite itself.