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By Kath Richards

A metronome outside his skin, like he wears on his person
the grandfather clock from his grandfather’s home. Between his lungs,
the dacron droning of muscle pumping the piece of poly-carbon
which will play valve so long as his heart will have it.
Tonight the snapping thrum lulls me to a sleep, one where I know he is alive and in this
he is no longer as he once was, cooled to half-a-hundred degrees, purple and blue-red
insides on display for a committee of qualified crows picking apart
and putting together his still-live cadaver. Did he exist at all
with his heart unthumping, sliced and sutured and knitted with bits of radiator hose while
my nails carved crescents into palms in the little-lobby half-heartedly playing cards, stomaching
a tuna-fish sandwich—banana peppers, pickles, and mayo on wheat pleasethankyou—
did he exist then at all? In the hours between we’ll take good care of him and
come on back, like the cat in the box, it was like he was alive and dead both.


Originally published in The Pensieve in 2022


Kath Richards received a degree in technology engineering and a master’s in creative writing, both from BYU. While there, she searved as editor in Chief of Inscape from 2021-2022. She misses it all the time.