You invented me, my maker—
built me out of clockworks and gears,
the Eve of my kind, the first metal foot on the Earth.
A marvel, a myth come to life.
I reread your manuals, your notes,
graph paper brittle between bronze fingertips.
They make sense to me;
their logic sings through my mechanisms:
a steady rhythm, a ticking clock.
But the books in your library speak of love.
Always of it, never saying what it is,
their definitions conflicting and unsatisfactory.
They dance around love like my predecessors move around curiosity shops.
They paint a picture, as if it will spark an understanding.
I stand before your name, inscribed in white stone,
wondering if this is the proper way to kindle that first flicker of flame.
Or if perhaps the spark has already flared,
and it is what drives the engine inside me.
Your colleagues ask, the world debates:
is Galatea a person or a thing?
Is she life or a trick of metal, the remnant of a great man’s mind?
Only I know about the clock buried deep in my head,
and how soon it will wind down.
You in your mercy
gave me the one thing that defines all life from the dead:
a scarcity of time.