I ask the mechanic to fix me

He says, “I cannot, son, I’m just a mechanic,”
so I lean against him, getting close to his face
and try again, “Please, fix me.” Holding a wrench


the mechanic assures me there’s nothing he can do,
so I squeeze his body and we hold each other,
his oily residue smearing onto my shirt and skin


as I scream, “My heart, sir, needs to be repaired!”
While he begins thwacking me in the hip with his wrench
and on my head and I keep screaming, “My heart,


mechanic, my heart!” I position my chest
so that his wrench hits it and now he’s beating me
like a gong and all the cars’ alarms sound and the lights tremble


and the fire sprinklers begin to cry too.“You can’t be fixed,”
he screams and continues hitting my chest until it breaks open,
bones and sinew spray like confetti throughout the shop


and inside me a tiny man is weeping. “Don’t cry
little guy,” my mechanic says, “I got something for you,
in my office. I’ll go get it,” and when the mechanic leaves


I don’t know what to do, so I give the crying man
my finger and he holds it, his body bouncing, his heels
clicking, and he beats and bumps to a soundless rhythm.

Gianni Gaudino lives in Philadelphia and teaches English and Writing at Atlantic Cape Community College. A graduate of Stockton University, he studied poetry under Stephen Dunn and Cynthia Arrieu-King, and he’s currently applying for admission to MFA programs. When not reading or writing poems, he’s either jogging on Broad Street, drinking coffee on South Street, or heckling dog-walking passersby to let him play with their dog.