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.