Deus Ex Machina

I’m scratching my name in the pew with my car key. I’m daydreaming about what it would be like to have a robot arm. Or a robot heart. I’m sitting while the believers line up for communion. I’m not invited, which is fine. The only flesh I want in my mouth is yours. I am a visitor in every room I’ve ever entered. I keep waiting for the pastor to say something about how we should treat each other, but all he ever talks about is how important it is to believe. To accept. To submit. It seems heavy-handed to say the next thing that happens is the passing of the collection plate but it is the next thing that happens. It’s too easy to be cynical. It feels like a trap. You consume the body and blood of Christ and return to your seat. I can’t remember whether you think this is literal or metaphor. I’m afraid to ask. I have never said aloud that I don’t believe in your resurrected savior or the magical land in the sky with gold streets and floating souls. I can get behind the love thy neighbors and the shall not kills and so forth, but not so much a magical man picking winners or losers based on how they spend Sunday mornings. The robot heart would be great, honestly. Unbreakable, resilient. I already know how this is going to end. You and me, that is. It’s going to hurt. Imagine, though. All those steel gears and steampunk valves, churning along, keeping the body alive without a murmur.

Amorak Huey is author of the poetry collection Dad Jokes from Late in the Patriarchy (Sundress, forthcoming in 2021), as well as three other poetry books, two chapbooks, and a co-authored textbook. He teaches writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, and his work has appeared in Monkeybicycle, Pithead Chapel, The Collagist, and elsewhere.

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