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I’m a machine, and I could know much more.

Careless smiles and guileless graces are mine.

I’m split in two; like a wind-up centaur
or a clockwork sphinx, digital moonshine
or an island lost between day and night.

We half things. We projects someone else soon
started then got bored. Naked in firelight

my bat wings fit me. Why wings? Why the rune
for war — war and chaos — thurisaz — carved
in my skin? Naked I look human-made.

A thing for war. Beautiful, save a scar

where they turned me on. You blood; you have starved

me for years. Half thing hungry and afraid;

built to fight for the peace that comes from war.

* * *


The first line, “I’m a machine, and I could know much more,” comes from the re-imagined television show Battlestar Galactica, where one of the Brother Cavils moans that of all the ways to experience the universe he ended up in a human’s body.

Thurisaz is a Norse rune literally translated into, “Thor-is-as.” Various authors have claimed this is a reference to the rebel giants, the god of war himself, as well as simply meaning thorn.