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๐—›๐˜‚๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜€ ๐—ก๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—™๐—ถ๐˜…๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—Ÿ๐—ถ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐—”๐—ป๐˜† ๐—ข๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐— ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ

๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜•๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜‰๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ



We can replace your broken heart, the doctor says.

A simple process now,

no organ donation or despair, just an upgrade.

The doctor affixes an off-white, circular patch on my skin

next to my sternum, industrial adhesive and fiber optics.

You wonโ€™t even remember why you were sad,

she chirps with a smile and reveals her own patch,

visible at the cusp of her lab coat collar.


The new beat thumps against my chest,

adjusts my rhythm:

a metronome.

tick tick tickโ€”


a ring of red forms around the patch,

the millimeters where my human skin rebels.

Technology takes root:

an interloper making me better.

Youโ€™ll have a new life, the doctor says

when she notices me scratching at the edges,

machinery coaxing animalism.


I leave her office and emerge to the landscape.

Hologram mountains and smog dreams;

a man bumps into me, too engrossed in his phone

to notice another person

or were those tears in his eyes?

The patch pulls at the hairs on my chest

as if swallowing them,

consuming energy for the journey

to snake into my humanity

tick tick tickโ€”

my feet fall in step.


The original tempo of a god-given heart

absorbs into the mechanical,

the perfect.


By night, I should be hungry,

thirsty, corporeal form yearning

for the fuel I need.

Yet I find myself reclined in bed,

waiting in the dark

eyes open, mesmerized and satiated

by the droning beat slowed down for night,

replacing the need for a yawnโ€”

Tick. Tick. Tick.




Nicole's career began with a degree in Creative Writing. Her focus then shifted to Film Production and Screenwriting. For a while, she worked in film, while writing and producing her own short films. Now, Nicole works as a Creative Writing professor. Sheโ€™s currently developing a collection of poetry and honing her gluten free baking skills. Her work has appeared in Ariel Chart, The Indian Periodical, and Writing in a Woman's Voice, with others forthcoming. You can read more about Nicole at nicolebirdthewriter.com.



Speculative fiction & POETRY ZINE
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