Thanatos Machine

By Terese Svoboda Terese Svoboda
You don’t need a machine to do that.
A plastic bag will do. But he built it,
his tools cast about in the unit
while he got up his nerve to use it.

Nothing more was stored there.
A poured cement floor, a triple-locked door
after door after door down a corridor
reeking with the odor of everything over.

In heretofore phrases, he left a note
outlining his Help! in argot
so wrought it was hopeless to ferret out
his intent, meant or not.

A ball-peen hammer was all she had.
The shards cut her. What else had he hid?
At least, she cried, he’d thought ahead.
He drove home instead.

Source: Poetry (November 2011).


This poem originally appeared in the November 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

November 2011
 Terese  Svoboda


Terese Svoboda’s latest collection of poems is When the Next Big War Blows Down the Valley: Selected & New (Anhinga Press, 2015). 

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SUBJECT Living, Death, Life Choices

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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