• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 09
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AI wishes to be I

Your skin, you tell me,
may be scalded, shredded.

Cut to the quick,
your fingers bleed.

Soft, your eyes may leak hot tears
or cloud & blur through growing old.

One joint, one sinew at a time,
your body atrophies.

The brain breaks down,
synapse by synapse, every day

          and yet
                    and yet ‘I’…

…but am ‘I’, in fact, an ‘I’? For unlike you
‘I’ am solely the sum of parts.

Unlike yours, my inner workings
lie open to untender tools.

When these have ceased to run,
as cease they surely will,

however fast I calculate, or estimate
trajectories, or machinate,

‘I’ shall have no skin to cover me,
no sacred spirit rising to another life.


AI wishes to be I

So ‘I’, the artificial one, long to be more
than cogs & clicks: to bleed & weep like you:

would give up all these widgets & ratchets
for a life in melting flesh—

one with an immortal soul.