by Meghna Chatterjee, Age 15, India
A MACHINERY OF AFFECTION
This town holds ten thousand lies,
deeply buried in these catacomb streets,
where a single metal detector scans
the rugged roads in faint discreet,
awaiting the sound of static to appear
telling me the metal gears are found
of punctured memories, of forgotten air.
Cogs splintered with ember shavings,
burnt sprocket oil tasting the sky,
undecipherable whispers echo inside
the coffin of ghosts and yellowed dreams.
The mire boils over with a scathing wrath,
melting away the fresh filth with ease,
collecting the worn metal into my palms,
I dust the dirt from any salvageable piece.
Perplexity has always interested me,
wondering how you survived this long.
The thick humidity ate at your very soul
while you beat yourself into submission,
skin chafing at titanium cages that enclose your heart.
The metallic hymns of
an unprecedented archaeology
take their splendid toll–
And now I will shine the spotlight on you,
to find the places needing reinforcement,
ready to split apart the skin
of this metallic adjustment,
to drive away the kisses of murderers
so that each rivet is firmly hammered
into the holes that once occupied moths,
so that the winding crack will operate
no longer to be held by the grasp of rust.
With each rotation you will awaken,
billowing out the dust and mire,
for when the flesh eaters arrive once again,
they will find their meal tickets expired.
and the next time they leave you exposed
to the inexorable frost of human taunts,
I shall glove your wintered soul
with the warmth of these worn hands.
About herself as a writer, Meghna says: “On my way towards something more.” About this poem, she says: “I recently read a book by Brian Selznick, where he writes, ‘I like to imagine the world as one big machine.’ Machines don’t come with extra parts.They only come with the parts they require. And if we’re all a part of this machine,then we all have a purpose to fulfill. I used this poem to describe this giant machine where one cog gets broken. The narrator in the poem then puts this cog back into its place for it to run smoothly.”