Your clockwork appendages
were cold to the touch.
The industrial complex of your mind
was grating gear against gear
where the unoiled works
kept clacking away; your atrium
was a tick-tocking machine
that counted the hours while the rust settled in.
The mainspring spiraled round
your mechanical heart tensed
so tightly it showed in your face,
in your quivering hands,
your troubled eyes.
The unlubricated escapement never
released, oxidized into place
from ages of neglect.
Your lonely footsteps echoed
under orange gaslamps submitting
to the glare of red lanterns.
Used parts are yours for the taking;
here, a hairspring; there, slender
legs under shredded petticoats.
The joints of your fingers corroded
with arthritis and green rust,
curled around curls
of Caryatids uncalibrated
to your pendulum swing.
Your flinted eyes filed flaws away,
groomed for the fluxing process.
Oscillating gears locked into place
before your backlash recoil
forced the dual mechanism apart
with shallow breaths emerging
from beneath the beck iron,
until dawn glances from the window
and your mainspring rewinds itself,
awaiting the next night uncoiled.