The torso of the machine was burlap stuffed with feathers,
with limbs made of old cutlery, and every time it scratched
itself or placed one pious hand upon its heart, a downy cloud
erupted from its bowels like barely stifled laughter. Soon

it became a shredded mess, and all the children followed
it clanking through the streets to shriek their airplane sounds
and run with arms outstretched through the floating down
as it dragged the body of whomever had been the latest

to say something wrong. It used pushpins to tack the body
to a post so we could finger paint our messages in the clouds
using only the warmest blood. This became our congress
on those warm afternoons, and we grew more and more

grateful to the simple machine for the white-hot sensation
of cleanliness it offered us. Righteous anger is just rage
wearing a velvet tracksuit. I want my anger to be warm
and naked as the day it first opened its eyes to the world.