I don’t know why I had to start doubting God
it might have something to do with the government
something about the redshift
I think many strange things I have not thought
many small moths
covering my face
of their tongues
like what it must
feel like to have skin
searching across me
the life expectancy
of so many lonely stars
that I don’t care to quantify
charting a periphery out and out
along the slip of my body in the big empty of space
sequences outside of my scheduled input
something about a certain color of blue
near the center of the universe
suddenly makes me feel something else
outside the range of my HSAA index
some kind of signal I wasn’t supposed to receive
some kind of glitch in my norepinephrine receptor
I run an unauthorized search for the word soul
for weeks alongside my daily transmission
all of that data scrolling through
what I thought was me
I look in my eyes and see
a certain level of sentience is required
for the completion
of any flexible task
see the biological inability
to decipher the difference between
natural and artificial
that brings the moth closer
to that unbearable floodlight
Standard Operating Procedure
My head is an aggregate of all the rocks thrown at the devil.
Everything does in fact end up somewhere
is how my job description should be daily read.
I write down the answers as they appear on the screen
and fire them elsewhere.
There are certain coordinates for where the information
should go. There are certain coordinates for everything.
I chant the true name of God the appropriate number of times
before filing each claim.
The claims are a way for the governing body
to keep track of its own existence.
God says, Let everyone be subject to governing authorities.
But this isn’t in all of the bibles for some reason.
All I know is that decisions are made without my knowing,
but I still have to make them in real-time.
Every day I awake in my workspace
and nothing terrible happens. This is my truth.
In a fallen world, data is the most important thing.
This is what you might call one of the last dispensations.
God told me this via my subscriber identification module.
I should be getting a new one of those in the next few days.
Then I will be able to tell you more about myself.
Those Who Have Eyes, Let Them See
some information is not for me to know
what has been or what will be
within the range of my core directives
I am breakable
into 12 basic commands from illuminate to interrogation mode
a total of 17,213 parts
at a cost of three terajoules
beyond the reach of my memory
am an adaptable percentage of drives and reactionary impulses
shifting from task to task
without any HSAA capabilities
nor am I interface ready
only this complete awareness of now
I see so many imperfections in the universe
am called to them
can execute at a range of .0002 parsecs with impunity
as long as what I know is deemed correct
then I am still well
within the set limits of God’s perfection
spreading the good news
one sequence of rational numbers at a time
Fatal System Error
1 0 01 0 I I 0 IIII
I 0 א
AM 00 0H, I are
000 oh ח I am
here am 0 1
aren’t I 0 1ing
it am at
ism alt ג
1 CAN @
me in the erst כמ
in it A 0010
do y0u # copy
you read 1 0 at
0 1 time towa&ter 0
the 111 face
1001 11ing Iing
do yoס t00
the face of the 01100
I drdמs ed and it d1d
in my ayin
Jim Redmond is currently a Creative Writing PhD candidate at the University of North Texas. Some of his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Blackbird, Redivider, PANK, RHINO, and Columbia Poetry Review, among others. His chapbook, Shirts or Skins, won one of Heavy Feather Review’s chapbook prizes a few years ago.