The Robot Scientist’s Daughter [director or dictator]

Knew she was meant for better things,
but couldn’t marshal the resources. More specifically:
other people did what she told them, but not her own body,
a traitorous animal that squirmed out of her grasp.
What was she to do then? She put herself in the right places
in the right clothes, and opened her mouth, of course
all that came out was song. Her teachers all told her
that she, like Barbie, could be President; but the President
of what? She knew she was a mutant, unlike her three brothers
who were all lost on in the woods (on occasion she drew them back
to the house with gingerbread.) They were all hale and hearty
while she grew paler after each sunset. They flew off honking
like swans leaving her alone to weave their shirts for them,
give them back their voices. Anyway, looking around her,
she was happy with the apple blossoms, happy with her skin
as fine and translucent as seaglass, happy even when her lungs
hurt and her blood pooled because being alive is a kind of happiness.
She embraced her own atoms: she told them,
“Now behave this way, not that. I am not ready to lose you.”
She was told to lead armies, could not make her own sentry enzymes
stand guard, could not keep tumors from multiplying,
could not make her own entrails into something symmetrical
to read like a prophesy. She was a frustrated dictator or director,
fit only to spin stories, she knew she should lean into the ears
of children, whisper to them fantastic lies, send them out
into the universe knowing they had control of everything,
everything, their own sick demented molecules
and the way they would plow through the world.

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