CAAMFest 2017

Two Robot Love Poems

"This is How You Make Love to a Robot" and "Beam, Robot" by Margaret Rhee

March 11, 2015

Illustration by Nick Iluzada

 

This Is How You Make Love to a Robot

Lesson 1: Don’t watch porn to learn. Robot porn is never any good. A robot would never sizzle and electrocute you. Don’t be scared of a robot. Just take your hands and move accordingly.

Lesson 2: The first time you kiss a robot, you will feel your heart leap. And then you will cry because you like it. This is all natural. This is all normal. Many people experience this when beginning to make love to robots.

Lesson 3: Robots all around. Just take her hand and take his and see how she knows exactly how to open wide.

Lesson 4: One day, you make love to a human being and realize you could never give up robots. Robots who show you how to make a circuit. Robots who help you learn how to love. Robots who teach you the limits of your body.

Lesson 5: Your hands before you touched a robot. Remember them.

 

Beam, Robot

how did we meet?
        at the bar.

i thought you were beautiful across the way.

        you lit up with the
        pin ball machine.

you dazzled every time the
pool stick hit a cue.

        i liked your lights.
i liked you.

        i decided to say hi.
and there you were
dazzled by me.

        this never happens you say,
after an
evening of talking,
        we find ourselves alone,

your lights hovering over me,
my flickering dream machine.

                                there is no love manual for robots.

you’re all made so uniquely.
        in a steel factory.

where no one has the keys to
turn the electric locks.

        i never attempted to hold one
        between my breasts to turn on
        your lights.
you had so many keys all that
never seemed to work with me.

        when i began to love someone else,
would that be okay?
        im not sure
,
you replied,
        how ill react.

                                            who programmed you?

        you placed two silver coins on my eyes
        and asked me
        to stay.

and i couldn’t, dear robot,
        not to be cruel
but because i thought
i was right.

        i was
        following the morse code of my human heart.

why did you buy flowers and cards for me
even though.
                     why did you shine and
                     flicker and blink
                     after it was
                     long over.  

all i naively
remembered of you was
a softened dim.     

        now, i understand why you took what you could.
        the cold moon sullies a wet san francisco lawn.

small glints on blades of grass depend on how you look.

        what i remember: once,

after we had dinner in the city.

        there,

between

        turk street and 7th

i stroked your shoulder

                                            your lights began to beam and

you stayed put,
                                            as all the cars passed

us, and the traffic lights

eventually

        all
        turned
        red.

 

 

 


 

Read more from Issue 28: The R/Evolution Issue, available now. Subscribe to Hyphen or pick up a copy at a newsstand near you.

Magazine Section: 
Contributor: 

Margaret Rhee

Margaret Rhee is the author of the chapbook Yellow (Tinfish Press, 2011) co-editor of Here is A Pen: An Anthology of West Coast Kundiman Poets(Achiote Press, 2010) and Glitter Tongue: Queer and Trans Love Poems (2012). Currently, she is a doctoral candidate at UC Berkeley where she researches Asian American robotic art. She is a Kundiman Fellow.