Why I Love What Breaks Down

Photo credit: The_Willow_Tree from
for Dave Smith

I've broken most things a man can and survived,
though I move with the rigid steps of some older man
who is not me; a few scars I can show off,
a few I cannot, though I claim to love them all
the same. A purple heart for the starburst
on the bony knob of my ankle where bone
and ligament saw air for the first time.
What in this world isn't a narrative? We all keep
a childhood fondness for picking scabs;
that's why, after eating the cooling asphalt
of a rain glassy road, I fixed that bike
instead of selling it for scrap. There's a Royal
portable typewriter behind me, on the rotten sill
of a window with cracked panes, dried out caulk.
I'll get around to fixing all of it soon,
and that could be why I love what breaks down,
because it gives me something to do.
Part of being human is to specialize in repair,
and pray that when called upon, you are able
to raise the hood of a rusted Chevrolet.
see frayed belts thrown about the machine,
and know the difference between what is broken,
what can be fixed, and what was never worth the trouble.

~ Steve Kistulentz

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