The Robot is Malfunctioning, 2006

ERROR ERROR
We have a problem here.
The robot is malfunctioning,
and the warranty is void.

He’s stuck in an endless loop,
asking the same questions,
getting the same answers,
repeating the same lines:
wrong place, wrong time.

ERROR ERROR
We have a problem here.
The robot is malfunctioning;
the programmer won’t answer the phone.

He’s stuck in the same place,
stuttering back and forth—
wires flicker in his brain.
Disconnected data goes nowhere,
in one side and out the other.

ERROR ERROR
We have an emergency.
The robot is shutting down;
the programmer isn’t home.

Random command lines drift around,
his broken fishbowl brain:
random numbers, random letters,
random things.
TEN SECONDS OF LIFE REMAIN.
The malfunctioning robot repeated the
line,
Wrong place, wrong time.

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