“Circumscribed with Wires” by Frank Ard

Her arms stretch
lines like clock hands
metallic rotations
a gender as undefined
as time
moving in her own circles
Given momentum
she’d float away
sings Roosevelt
a coincidental shadow

The moniker she
a gender-specific
His creation hands
have yet to choose his poison
And Roosevelt
mustache of wires
he likes to watch
like a timepiece once made
from factory parts

Trees touch her
seaside matchsticks drawn
on a rumpled parchment
I want to go to a place
snapping her head
till wire bundles
not yet fastened
kaleidoscope blown glass
A place with sand
she says
Or trees
her finger on the unfolded
four-way crease
and the Ageless Fire
You can’t
Roosevelt says
This familiar exchange
hundreds of years old
as the air in his lungs
and screwdriver rings
Lefty loosey
righty tighty
Tracking her navel
Forests are burned

You’re silly
for feeling the way you do

Circumscribed body
upon hand drawn waves
occluding the mermaid that she isn’t
Stenciled compass rings
falsetto inks
halo her head
And Roosevelt thinks
I can turn off
turn her off
whenever I wish
Fight or flight

I don’t want to be
a thing
unless I’m a thing
that can fly

newly feminine
Unless I can fly
Roosevelt toggles the switch
embedded in her
Away from here
tragic whispers
of the last machine

Frank Ard is a Clarion West graduate and a master’s student in creative writing at the University of South Alabama. His publishing credits include 20Spec, Fantastique Unfettered, and The Future Fire.

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