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
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
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.