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

                        frozen mid-transformation.

 

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.

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