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By Kyle Dargan

with clear-cased woofers for heads,

no eyes. They see us as a bat sees

a mosquito—a fleshy echo,

a morsel of sound. You’ve heard

their intergalactic tour busses

purring at our stratosphere’s curb.

They await counterintelligence

transmissions from our laptops

and our blue teeth, await word

of humanity’s critical mass,

our ripening. How many times

have we dreamed it this way:

the Age of the Machines,

postindustrial terrors whose

tempered paws—five welded fingers

—wrench back our roofs,

siderophilic tongues seeking blood,

licking the crumbs of us from our beds.

O, great nation, it won’t be pretty.

What land will we now barter

for our lives ? A treaty inked

in advance of the metal ones’ footfall.

Give them Gary. Give them Detroit,

Pittsburgh, Braddock—those forgotten

nurseries of girders and axels.

Tell the machines we honor their dead,

distant cousins. Tell them

we tendered those cities to repose

out of respect for welded steel’s

bygone era. Tell them Ford

and Carnegie were giant men, that war

glazed their palms with gold.

Tell them we soft beings mourn

manufacture’s death as our own.

 


Kyle Dargan, "The Robots are Coming" from Honest Engine. Copyright © 2015 by Kyle Dargan.  Reprinted by permission of University of Georgia Press.

Source: Honest Engine (University of Georgia Press, 2015)

Poet Bio

Kyle Dargan was born in Newark, New Jersey. He earned his BA from the University of Virginia and MFA from Indiana University, where he was a Yusef Komunyakaa fellow and poetry editor of the Indiana Review. Former managing editor of Callaloo, Dargan is also the founding editor of the magazine Post no Ills. He is the Director of Creative Writing at American University and lives in Washington DC.

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