Real

Fifty years into the future,
she asked if I had a 39-20
she could upload herself into.
I told her I had a second-hand model,
a deal from Sacamano’s
on the corner of 4th and Alma;
I got a discount because the motor was burned out
on both eyes. She said,
“What’s the point in a 39 with no occular movement?”
“The tactiles work just fine, honey,” I replied.
“That’s all that matters in the end.”
It chimed awake and spent five minutes of my time
grinding through its boot.
Then the stiffness unfolded
and human movement flowed in.
She walked up and down on tip-toes
whilst the dermal layer configured.
“Call me picky,” she commented,
“but I’d like to be able to look at you.”
“I’ll try to keep your head pointed in my direction,”
I growled, watching her form
and colour in.
She took my chin between finger and thumb.
“I don’t just want to see you,” she told me.
“I want to see you seeing me see you.
“What is it if we don’t have that?”
“What it’s always been,” I replied,
“for anyone who turns out the lights.”
And I drained my diet cola
with satisfaction.

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