This Machine

And when I say, THIS MACHINE RUINS LIVES, I don’t mean yours but of course this machine will ruin any life. That is to say that there is no such abstraction. That is to say that even as I forgive you I am breaking the bricks of your heart apart and placing each piece in a sandwich bag and stacking the sandwich bags into the shape of a heart in the freezer. This icy heart I am building is not your heart anymore. It is a purple thing like your heart. It is a secret thing like your heart. It is a special thing I want to never lose. And you see that when it is gone completely from your chest you will begin to sing a special song. It will go I AM THE END OF THE WORLD AGAIN. And when you are finished with your song, it will be raining. The rain will be the cleanest rain. We will catch it in a pitcher, and it will taste just like our favorite bottled water, and we will dump the pitcher on our dying rosemary plants; and this will be our contribution to the world. You say YOU SEE THIS WATER SAVES LIVES. You say, YOU SEE THIS WATER RUSTS THIS MACHINE, THIS HEART.

Thomas Patrick Levy grew up in New Jersey, attended a high school for “at risk” teenagers, dropped out of an MFA program, and is a licensed auto-motive repossession agent. He is author of I Don’t Mind If You’re Feeling Alone (YesYes Books, 2012) and Please Don’t Leave Me Scarlett Johansson (Vinyl 45s Chapbooks Series, 2011). For more information, visit him online at