Born from the womb of no-one
And destined to amount to nothing,
Before I could walk, I needed to run,
From the legionnaires, the soldiers
That were coming.
The camp was consumed by flame
As the embers tended to the weak.
The legionnaires marched on, blameless,
Slaughtering the frail and the meek.
All we could do was run and hide,
Trying to escape the apathetic horde,
We sheltered in a nearby tenement
Away from the burning, sharpened sword.
The roof came down upon us
Weakened, I imagine, by the blaze.
I was trapped beneath the debris,
Surrounded by an endless, fiery maze.
Then I, powerless to act, to move, to fight
Watched my mother’s flesh
Bubble and burn into the black of night.
It was on that day they started building the wall,
The morose monument that would replace our camps,
Standing firm, standing astute; standing pretentiously tall.
Pulled from the ashes, I know not when,
An old, kind, generous soul took me in.
She nursed my wounds, and restored my trust-
My faith in humanity. She taught me all I know
And ultimately how to lie and how to sin.
Through her wisdom I learned of the truth-
Why the people in my camp were slaughtered:
For their flesh, for their blood, for their brains
For their hearts, their souls, all of them tortured.
Conformity was preferable to complexity,
Life was ill favoured when lived in ambivalence,
Certainty was desirable in cases of ambiguity
Concerning humans of depth and difference.
I appreciated the terrible irony of their fates:
When the soldiers destroyed them with a slash,
And erased any history of humanity in them,
They were all the same- the same colour of ash.
My saviour, my nurse, my illegitimate mother
Who went by the name of Agatha, introduced me
To those who opposed the injustice of the city,
I learned there were more options that to die or flee.
Adolescence was spent training to be better-
I desired to become stronger, to become faster,
To be able to tear away the veil of perfection
Shielding the people from the city of disaster.
I built bridges where I could, though I could see
They were not flawless, like the ones high in the city.
Teaching myself the intricacies of their technology
I soon became aware of my increasing lack of pity,
Their robotics were much like they were; methodical
Mechanical, unfeeling and lacking that indefinable spark
That held the joy and wonder of life- no they did not care-
So why should I? I would strike them in their hearts so dark.
Years passed on, my vengeance lay in lulled stasis,
Until one calm night, basked in glimmering moonlight,
I slept- but not for long- there was a struggle at the door:
The legionnaires, the soldiers, they were coming tonight.
I emerged from my silent slumber, half in dull reverie,
To see her on the floor, Agatha, she was trembling.
Stood around her were three men, with batons burning,
She saw me and I knew- to survive- I must be dissembling.
They beat her until she was numb, and then a little more;
Until she was sore, until she was broken, until she was dead.
Once again, I was forced to watch, but worse than the pain:
She had made me promise to laugh, to protect myself, as she bled.
I was spared due to Agatha’s precautions and warnings,
But she was now another victim of the vile, corrupt constitution
That I promised to destroy. Her death did bring me something:
A release of any guilt I would feel bringing the city to its knees, in a word-