• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 05


How human am I? How much capacity can be subsumed?
Placed in an electronic neural network stretching everywhere,
that is not so constrained as me by cranial confines.

If a witch prisoned my hand, her dagger poised at temple,
waiting for the flinch, the animal demand to self-preserve,
would I, could I pass the test that calls me human?

But then, that climber trapped so deep between
a rock and a hard place, who choosing life cut off his arm?
Would he fail the witch’s test? Is he less human for his life?

If humans really are more capable than greedy monkey with
its fist-clenched treats entrapped in narrow neck, unable
to release itself though mortal danger lurks in wait —

then, why do I indulge in diets that are known to shorten life?
Why consume the stimulants, the depressants against all of
medical advice? The hangover itself will tell me off, yet I imbibe.

More than lobster, but that creature feels its pain for sure,
in all its brains, and lives its life as self-aware as any other
animal, in their niche. Nor yet under the water can I breathe.

Less than master gardeners, cultivating the finest peaches,
geneticists combining traits at will, or chefs displaying all
their culinary skill to offer up a feast. Yet gladly I consume.

Less than search engine coursing through the information
universe but more today by feelings’ virtue, connected
senses, empathy that comes from self. And yet, and yet,

might not an android, not so far away and then becoming



self-aware, enjoy their sensate dreams? I wonder, midst scenes
of edible delight, is it perhaps our rampant lust that also

humanises us, yet drives us willy-nilly to our graves?