Alicia Hoffman, “Repair Manual”

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Repair Manual

Relax. To survey the splintered
landscape, the heart in your hands,

that injured bird, open-beaked and
hungry, is a step in the right direction.

Lie down. You need to disassemble.
For this, a wrench is useful. Pliers

for the wiry parts. String for sutures.
Soldering iron for wounds. Place

all bits on a surface of your choosing.
Perhaps an arid desert plain is best, sun-

baked and ready for the word arisen.
Close your eyes. They are not needed

for this type of toil. Spread the parts
in the grains of sand. Time to pass

over each shattered bit. Step lightly
and be careful to break into song.

The melody matters. It must ride
the paradox of sweet and strong.

Embrace the wrongness hard.
You will sense it fuse slowly together,

so do not be alarmed to discover when
you open, what was broken is gone.


Originally from Pennsylvania, Alicia Hoffman now lives, writes, and teaches in Rochester, New York. She is the author of two poetry collections: Like Stardust in the Peat Moss and Railroad Phoenix (Kelsay Books/Aldrich Press). Find out more at:


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