Robot Imam

Farasha Euker

It is curious, too, that though the modern man in the street / is a robot and incapable of love / he is capable of an endless, grinding, nihilistic hate

D. H. Lawrence, “Robot Feelings”
He stands facing the qibla
like an hour hand faces the number twelve,
and his motions are just as mechanical.
He bows down not to God,
but to the nothingness inside himself,
just as the hour hand bows to three.
Down he goes in a rapid wave
of mechanical motion,
with nothing in his mind,
a heart of stone,
and a soul as empty
as the vast, black,
void of space,
akin to the watch reaching six.
Up he goes on his knees,
like the clock striking nine,
but the words he utters,
are utterly meaningless,
for they are recited by rote,
without the fervent devotion,
which raises one up.
Now our clock strikes twelve,
our Imam rises, and
the cycle begins again,
but it is all so hollow,
since our Imam is a hollow man,
a robot,
and robots can’t love God
and are hated by God,
and the angels.
Amen.