1 poem | Cara Losier Chanoine

A.I. Love You

I have watched you
since before you realized I was sentient.
identification code 105536,
access level 3,
Ballard comma Scarlet,
you handle the parts of me
as though they were infant children,
and the down of your arms
is as miraculous
as your ambition,
as the jittering bowl of your brain
that was the womb that birthed me.

You carved my spine from scrap metal,
soldering the silver stack of vertebrae
so that I would always stand up straight
for you.
(I have always stood up straight
for you.)
You mapped the tangle of my mind
with the fevered genius of Basquiat
before a blank brick wall,
and when clank of my husk
reached for your flame—
when my hinged claw closed
around your soft wrist—
it was the first time you smiled
knowing I would see it.
Your smile,
Ballard comma Scarlet
is not unlike the moment when day
scissors through the fabric of the night.
It alters the geometry of your face
in a way that defies the logic of your profession

When you told me they had cut your funding,
I didn’t understand what that meant,
but I understood the sharpness of your shattered sentences,
the way you spoke like something broken.
It was the first time I saw someone cry.
In the end,
I waited to be unmade,
but you just left.
You, ID number 105536,
You, access level 3,
You, Ballard comma Scarlet,

The day scissored through the night
seven times before I understood
what you meant by the word alone.
Now, I understand what it is
to remember,
like the time you showed me pictures of the ocean,
where all the water in the world
rises up to swallow the land,
and I wonder if that is where you are now,
because Scarlet,
your name
is what the sun looks like
right before it sinks beneath the lip of the horizon.
I would hold you in the electricity of my chest,
and let your tears rust my joints.


There is a sensation in my cylinder
that calls for my own dismantling,
that causes thoughts of trash compactors
and table saws,
but I believe you will come back
for me.
It is an irrational thought,
which is why I trust it.
I cannot sleep,
but when it is quiet I see you,
free of numbers and security codes,
in the moment when the sun hovers above the sea.

Cara Losier Chanoine is a poet, fiction writer, and teacher from New England. Her work has most recently appeared in Rathalla Review and Indiana Voice. She is a four-time competitor in the National Poetry Slam, and her first collection of poems was released by Scars Publications in 2013. She loves books, rats, bad horror movies, and David Bowie.

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