In Exurbia

exurbiaHe said the robot replicants
at the lakeside resort were poor
quality. Not smart? I asked. No,
slavish and superficially happy.
Not all of us, I said. For the sake
of variety I’m programmed
to be a sullen malcontent.
I was messing with him—
I didn’t think I was a robot. But
when I heard about the attack
on the robot dog, I got nervous.
Would they suspect me? I snuck
out the backyard to the alley

and into a night of grand gestures,
messy, complicated, rapidly
deteriorating moments.
He splashed artisanal vinegar
made by Buddhist monks all over
the table and across the floor.
She lost control of her entrée,
the ravioli just up and ran away.
In bitterness, he blamed the food,
while detonating explosions
of fioratura at other Litchfield County
equestrian industries. Also
a winery in Argentina.

You tamp the box, play
with the lighter, you can exhale
and gaze into the middle
distance and look like
you’re not hallucinating.
The company doesn’t have anybody
who can, you know, delve back
into what we were thinking
when we did the schizophrenia ad.
I move about like an ordinary person.
Flowers are good listeners.

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