At the beginning of the test I am thinking
of words, about emotions that claim to be eternal.
I think on this until I feel the electrodes
affixed with something sticky like semen, like a kiss on my hairline,
and I gather my arm descriptors,
my action figure garrison: Commanders Loving, Safe, and Comforting
before I receive
the first charge. There is a rearrangement of poses.
The eyes want to make out the shape
of letters like charades, but they are meaningless. They are misfit imposters
and can't find reason
to care beyond their curves and straight edges.
"Self" is the only word
that translates. Another charge changes the order of the powers
and the superhero proofs are only naked
men. A final cleansing current renders the familiar faces fallible, plastic,
unrecognizable, like me and
Our toys are discarded and litter the floor of the lab,
the mind is a bird, the body is wheeled out on a horizontal plane.