The results are in and are final; we have a shelf life, an expiration date. Mankind can live until the age of 122. This is the oldest any human being on this planet of ours will ever be.
The science is conclusive with scientists and researchers in agreement. Nanorobots (the same ones who fight our cancers, deliver our drugs directly to our tiny cells) have taken tissue samples in every nook and cranny. Rushing through red rivers in an alien landscape until they finally reached the small fibre nerves in our peripheries, the microscopic robots have mapped every cell in the human body, examined every mitochondrion and tinkered with these diddy batteries, which scientists believe are the master key to youth.
To no avail. Even the God molecule, tweaked and optimised for maximum potency, eventually leads to liver failure and the potentially fatal sloughing of skin. The only option left to us to prolong life as we know is the unaffordable-for-most solution of replacing every body part, each organ and natural device as it fails.
It is a conundrum to prolong life through mechanisation; we have reached the apotheosis.
Congratulations: you are a first-generation superhuman, a godlike pioneer, a full-body prosthesis with a mind linked to the cloud in row D. You sit and watch your great-granddaughter place flowers in a vase on top of a dresser at your side – she says they are your favourite, she says they are the same flowers you had at your wedding. You search your memory for information, but you can’t for the life of you recall the scent of the flowers, nor the sensation of holding your sweetheart’s hand.
You reply, ‘Are they?’
To Emily Mae Stokes; to the child citizen within us all:
You must exercise your right to observe without judgement
and find in every other the source of sincerity.
Use your senses to feel the road. Use your faculties
to capture every day. Every sweet instant is followed by something other.
So, put down your false reflective screens.
You must commit to loving with such a clarity
that even the graceless are pulled out of their muddle.
(This poem was written as a homage and response to Emily Mae Stokes’s If you do not rebel by loving, you will find yourself painting the wrong portrait published in Nimrod Vol. 61, Nr. 2.)
Photo by Dimitar Belchev on Unsplash