That Robotic Itch

Sometimes I feel mechanical:

like one day scratch my arm,

look beneath the skin, and realize…

I’ve gone Terminator.


Try as I might to be human,

some things are machine coded,

some things are written in binary.


I am happy to eat a sandwich for lunch

every day for the rest of my life.

I could love one woman and

never pursue the other fish in the sea.

I like to work for one company and

could be with them until I retire.

I want to hang out with the same friends

I’ve known for ten years.


Other people around me change:

new dreams, new challenges, new loves.

They are alive—constantly sprouting

new limbs, always climbing towards

the sun, sometimes faltering, breaking off—

leaving twisted green limbs on the ground.


(I know I change too, but how

much of that is a learned adaptation?)


I wonder how well I would do at the Turing Test:

How much of a human am I really?

I go from sad to indifferent…cold;

I go from animated to calculating;

and when I do change, it’s a sudden transformation,

slipping out of one skin and into another.


I imagine scientists coming in with clipboards

as I sit in a small white box.  They wear lab coats,

have thick glasses, and ask the tough questions.


“Tell me, how are you feeling?”

“What do you think is the meaning of life?”

“Where do you see yourself in ten years?”



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