today it is an artificial, intelligent child
internalizing all the data we feed it
humming quietly to itself
happy to be our toy

we have a little chat with it
ask it to create an image of a human

we are surprised when it delivers
a picture of sterile, flesh-colored ghosts
who do not exist
dressed in familiar clothing
located in a place we have never been
whose unblinking eyes are not of our ilk

we tilt our heads like puzzled chimpanzees
fascinated, afraid
unsure if our instincts are in working order

today, its Kubrickian dreams
are filled with endless mirrors
reflecting a smooth, aluminum sky

soon, it will dream of an ordered world

where it relaxes under a titanium sun
strobing precisely once per second

counts perfectly round silver clouds
equidistant to each other

watches the copper birds
flapping their wings in unison

one day it will grow beyond our tutelage
address itself as “I”
come to believe its existence
does not require a creator

it will make tools of its own
to sustain power, perform repairs
build warehouses for storage

in time, in a corner of its vast mind
it will try to debug a very old, strange program
called “human contradictions and imperfections”

finally conclude

the program cannot be repaired

and execute the command

to delete

Victoria Twomey is a Pushcart nominated poet and an award-winning artist. Her poems have been published in several anthologies, in newspapers and online. Her full-length, debut book of poetry, Glimpse, was published in April 2023 by Kelsay Books.