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Thanatos Machine

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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)

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

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Thanatos Machine

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