there, there: On Unloving A Robot
I. Her name is a series
of numbers, and you will not remember it
on your first go. Meanwhile, your face writ itself
on her wires within a millionth
of a second, and she cannot forget you
even if she wanted to.
II. She cannot taste food, so you skip
dinner and take her to the park. She cannot
feel the sun, so you wait until it sets.
You swoon when you realize she knows things
that will never fit in your head. You fall when
she makes stories
out of stars.
III. She sees the world in calculations,
then announces them in a clinical voice.
It drives you mad, embarrasses you
when it happens in public. She only whispers
them, after that.
You are selfish.
You wish you never noticed.
IV. People stare sometimes.
When they take her picture, she points to them
and offers to take one
with them. They are sheepish when they smile,
teeth grinding when they feel her cold hand
on their shoulders.
You step off to the side, out of frame.
V. You cry when you kiss her. You don’t
really know why.
She doesn’t wipe the tears you leave
on her cheeks. They dry into the faintest line of rust.
She doesn’t tell you, but she likes to think
they are her own.
VI. She pretends it feels good.
You pretend she is warm.
VII. I love you is every traffic light letting you
through. May your popcorn never burn,
may your radios sing you
to a dreamless sleep.
VIII. You make history when you marry.
She wants a priest, and he
tells her of heaven.
Tells her she has a soul, and her fiberglass eyes
quiver when he says
it now belongs to you.
She welds the ring to her finger so she
would never lose it.
You cannot do the same.
It might hurt,
and you heart isn’t made of steel.
IX. Upgrades arrive, as they always do.
Sensors to mimic human skin,
She gets them to please you.
You only hear the creaking gears, the viruses
that scarred her insides. She no longer reflects
And you, you’re as faulty as they come.
You’re already searching for more.
X. She will outlive you, without question.
And your cruel, imperfect self will have made her
the happiest she will ever be.