It doesn’t bother him where he was put to wait
while the rest of his body was made. He passes time
watching the shadows move in the faint light
under the bottom of the door. It excites him seeing
the flits of shadow as people pass the closet, their
feet sliding, interrupting the light from places
beyond them, behind them, illuminating…
His daddy and mommy will be bringing his body soon.
He thinks how nice it will be when his legs are on and he
can walk beside them in the light. It excites him
to hear the sounds of things clanking, especially when the sounds
rise and fall as the shadows pass. It doesn’t bother him
that the closet door doesn’t open yet.
The scent of his blood gets stronger when he thinks too much
about his body. But it is so exciting to anticipate
being with his parents and being able to move around.
His mommy had told him stories when she and daddy
were closing his head, stories of how it felt
to walk in safe weather and to smell air
and to see the clouds, and the butterflies.
The floor is cool against his cheek sensors
and he doesn’t mind watching the shadows move around
outside. He doesn’t mind, not at all. He remembers
everything mommy and daddy had told him. The shadows
grow more frequent and he hears his mind whirrrrr,
but he relaxes when the door doesn’t open.
The light is always there
but sometimes the shadows are fewer. Maybe his body
will be a Christmas present. It would be the best time, Christmas.
His mommy said good things came at Christmas, for good children.
He always thought good thoughts, so he is good, isn’t he?
He waits and watches the light and shadows under the door,
his eyes’ shine powered by staggered lithium and hope,
new and certain. It doesn’t bother him that he has to wait.
His daddy will be by soon, he knew, and Mommy too.
They would have his body with
his legs and arms and chest, all shiny. It doesn’t bother him
since the light and movement is nice to watch and hear.
He watches as the lights change, wondering…
did the red and blue lights flashing mean
that Christmas is here? he wonders…
He doesn’t know what it means
when all the lights go out.
(Originally presented in Abyss & Apex, First Quarter 2010.)