Size / / /

Look at those robots down there

holding their perfectly compatible partners,

analyzing their children for design flaws,

scooping fuel into cobalt-glazed bowls,

putting the day's credits on yesterday's debts

while other robots come and go,

some getting redesigned,

some getting scrapped,

their skeleton ground down and

thrown on the metallic topiary

to create sturdier blossoms

and sharper petals. And so,

rain beads on the houses and runs off again,

the heat sinks get hot and then cool again,

the old cemeteries in all their orderly profusion

grow over, forgotten and peaceful.

The robots drink their hot oil

before the quiet of night's recharging,

and in the morning wake in fresh amazement

from their randomized dreams.




Joanne Merriam lives in Nashville with her husband, three rabbits, and a reproduction sword. Her fiction has appeared in Escape Pod, Brain Harvest, and previously in Strange Horizons. You can find her at joannemerriam.com.
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