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)
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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