The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Love, Robot by Margaret Rhee

Radio Heart

Once I unbolted you, is that the word?
Silver screws encased you, and I
Let out a sharp sigh upon the sight of
Your metal, blue wires, all your insides.

Your glow upon my face. My name is
Engraved into your board, don’t ever suck the
Solder off. I don’t want to forget your
Radio heart. I crank the volume up and listen.

I dreamt I leapt through into your speakers
But your radio heart was all faux,
Cheap, plastic, and breakable. You promised, but
Sound never arrived in my eardrums.

Race is not programmed yet
So as you trace around my eyes
My lips, the round contours of my face
You say, you are so human, all human

Let the lover be disgraceful and crazy.
I still hear your radio heart beating
Inside this meat of mine. I wish it were as
Easy to turn mine off as yours.

Your blue buttons. My hand
Turns your red dial slowly. Hey,
I just like watching your red needle
Inch, round, and wave toward me

This selection comes from the collection Love, Robot, available from The Operating System. Order your copy here. Our curator for December is Jessica Rae Bergamino.

Margaret Rhee is a poet, artist, and scholar. She is the author of chapbooks Yellow (Tinfish Press, 2011) and Radio Heart; or, How Robots Fall Out of Love (Finishing Line Press, 2015), nominated for a 2017 Elgin Award, Science Fiction Poetry Association. Her project The Kimchi Poetry Machine was selected for the Electronic Literature Collection Volume 3. Literary fellowships include Kundiman, Hedgebrook, and the Kathy Acker Fellowship. She received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in ethnic and new media studies. Currently, she is a Visiting Scholar at the NYU A/P/A Institute, and a Visiting Assistant Professor at SUNY Buffalo in the Department of Media Study.

Jessica Rae Bergamino is the author of UNMANNED, forthcoming from Noemi Press, as well as the chapbooks The Desiring Object or Voyager Two Explains to the Gathering of Stars How She Came to Glow Among Them (Sundress Publications), The Mermaid Singing (dancing girl press), and Blue in All Things: a Ghost Story (dancing girl press). Individual poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Third Coast, Black Warrior Review, Colorado Review, and Southern Humanities Review. She is a doctoral student in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Utah, where she serves as Reviews Editor for Quarterly West.


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