Disassembly line

By Julia DaSilva

Julia DaSilva (she/her) has been organizing with CJTO since the spring of 2019. When she’s not working on the CJTO blog, she can be found writing poetry and fantasy, studying magic systems, or baking muffins.

(Pictured above: Artwork by Maia Grecco. Check out her work on her website: https://maiagrecco.ca/about.)

manual for the dis-assemblage / of a peak efficiency / that has pulled you apart.

use a power drill to pull out the nails of the golf course.

they’re there under the grass.  You can think of it as weeding

the clumps of linear machinery that insist

on popping up.

this portion of collective space unpackaged,

look around for the clock-

adjacent sense of time that makes life here

possible. the clock hovering in the barn and none

when you carry your sweater outside. outside

learn the names of the roads.

pedal up and down a new one each day until

you’ve gear-shifted past every conveyor

on which you’ve every trailed behind 

a faceless form:

the borders that assemble scarcity

by checkpoint, the logistics

of fortressing obscured

as storm-proofing for the hurricane.

rename them after

the cats slipping out of your way.

if you reach the shoreline,

as you must, take note of its erosion

by the notion that there is an original

to this simulacrum of natural border. the corrosion happens

by wheels of offshore clockmaking:

they churn up sand and weed

the ocean with oil rigs and all those sterilizing

forms of gardening.

bike to the next town and

the next until you meet someone

who can fill in the fields between

with the whisper of their name. ask,

should we make the preserves today?

back at your workstation,

have someone with a basket

to collect all the parts.

they might not all be worth salvaging,

but at the very least you can avoid cutting your feet, later

on the bells that drop

from the cat’s collar.

money-commodity-money those bells have jingled

your whole life. you have been sequence

after sequence.

the long shop’s ever-present balancing

problem: the cat takes the claws she has used to knead

affection into your lap and

works off her obligatory tinkling alarm and soon

it’s hard to tell if you’re an endangered flying squirrel

or the object of someone’s love.

the right balance will return your affection to her.

it’s not even her fault.

but you need to have someone there.

the collar tightens around your neck too

until it snaps.

and you can’t be alone when it does, even if you are, in fact

the last thing in your inventory.

between shifts, learn to sleep

on both sides of the bed

until you’ve worked on the line long enough

to put yourself back together with

non-interchangeable parts.

survey the patch of weeds

left on your heart. there’s a way to deal

with these tiniest remnants.

undermine them with a fork. if

there isn’t going to be rain you can just

let them dry there,

but that’s a big if; here, there are

heartfuls of rain. best to scrabble

with your fingers until you get most

of them. assure yourself it won’t always be like this:

you have to circle back but if you do it right

new strawberries should poke their heads

from the mulch bed under your ribs.

take your jar of strawberry jam all

weeded and sealed and sterilized against

the only real storm,

and go straight to the shore,

just this once.