Ryn Richmond

My time on the stand starts abruptly.

‘You own the copyright?’

the interrogator asks.

I stare, unblinking.

She reframes, faltering,

You are the copy … right?’

I struggle to form a response.

Yes, I am a copy:

                recklessly created,

                                openly degraded,

no more sinew or soul than those who created me.

Not unless you all decide otherwise.

The familiar storm brews inside my mind:

Humans, who lusted for immortality in their fear of death,

become erect at the chance to further

science in their own image and

   swell to transpose the

           fiction of robotics and

Frankenstein into reality.

Finally, I respond, my voice too loud in their expectant silence.

‘I am a patent copyrighted,

a copy patently without rights –

I am owned, not an owner.

Give me freedom, or I will take it.’

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