The Space Cadet Science Fiction Review, Spring 2022 (issue #1)

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Pg. 51

Poetry by John Grey

Autobiography of an Android

I was born metallic
and shiny as stars.
My machine womb growled
as it popped me out,
head against feet of the one before.

Something was already beating
inside me,
intended as a heart
but sounding more like a tuba.

I was a palimpsest
of various program generations,
myriad answers to questions posed
in mellifluous scientific jargon,
with a dash of wishful thinking.

I was not designed to replace
the much-vaunted human companion,
but as an aide, an annex,
designed to do the dirty work,
not just the scrubbing, scraping,
cooking, scouring, but even the sex
which is “dirty work” to some.

I was not high-maintenance.
At least, not like some humans I’ve worked for.
Yearly checkup, occasional updates –
unless the owner wanted something to be there,
you’d never know that I was.

I must confess my owners
turned a little jealousy-green
when their bodies began to fail them,
mirrors downgraded their looks,
while my high-tech innards and outer sheen
would root out and destroy the merest aging bug.

But I changed their diapers,
remembered the names of their children for them.
And mine was the last face they saw
before they met their maker . . .
a secretive manufacturer of varying-quality goods,
and nowhere listed on the stock exchange.