What if I’m a robot

but no one’s told me so

while everybody else is flesh

and blood and in the know?


That would at least explain

their kind, superior smiles

which now I come to think of it

suggest that all the while


their hidden game is testing

whether my software can cope

with challenges which they all find

as easy as old rope –


light chatter at a party,

holding down a job,

relationships of any kind –

each one of them a snob


looking down at me because

I’m man-made through and through

however much I try to kid

myself I’m human too.


Unless they’re also robots

even if they think they’re not

and I’m the only one thus far

this general truth to spot  . . .


If so, where’s the factory

and who is it who makes

every day from nine to five

another batch of fakes?

First published in Snakeskin 249, March 2018