Automaton by Jennifer Crow

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Automation by Jennifer Crow
Illustration by Sue Babcock
I built you, my automaton, my mechanical lover,
from shards of dream, the bronze patina of sorrow
and the regret that gears have ground in my soul.
I laid the iron skeleton of your form
on a table in my laboratory, punched cards
that would mimic emotion, so you will quote
verse and verity to me. The substance under
your rusting skin, the wires and cords,
the clockwork imitation of a heart,
the blinking glass marbles that see me
as a pattern against chaos—
all this I built, twisting pieces of you
into place, forcing—where I must—the various
ill-fitting scraps meant to take the form 
of a man. And even when I finished, and stood
in the stiff circle of your arms,
that hollow place in my chest remained,
an emptiness sure as it ever was, while you
whispered exactly the right words in my ear.

BIO: Shy and nocturnal, Jennifer Crow has rarely been photographed in the wild, but it’s rumored that she lives near a waterfall in western New York. You can find her poetry on several websites, including Goblin Fruit, Uncanny, Mythic Delirium, Eye to the Telescope, and Mithila Review. She’s always happy to connect with readers on her Facebook author page or on twitter @writerjencrow.