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The first perpetual motion machine
was a mother who could
put her arms around you
endlessly.

She will never need fuel,
the engineers said smugly.

They put quilting on her
metal limbs so that we could nuzzle
into her embrace. We were
starved monkeys glutting on a love
they promised would never run dry.

Energy is conserved and redirected without a net loss,
the engineers began,

and we
stopped listening, and we
buried our faces in the comfort
of a true isolated system, and we
never gave her fuel, or thought, or
gratitude, or a name, or
any say in the matter,

and she
cradled us forever, in defiance of
all laws of thermodynamics, and she
never spoke, and never stopped, and
never lost, and never gained.



Natasha King is a Vietnamese American writer and nature enthusiast. Her work has appeared in ClarkesworldOkay DonkeyBest of the Net, and elsewhere. In her spare time, she enjoys thinking about the ocean. She can be found on Twitter as @pelagic_natasha.
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24 Jun 2024

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