A Mortal in Armour, Among Immortals Walking

A poem about life and death by Ai Jiang.

Your mortal body barely held
together beneath the skin
you call armour—synthetically
grown, a life force feeding
you, like everyone else,

for the last three centuries.
But you cancelled your request
for the next regeneration,
to continue onwards for one
more century, just as I did

when I traded my arms and legs
for robotic limbs, but kept blood
pumping through my dying organs.

You said perhaps a cyborg
like me could hope to understand
—unlike the immortals walking,

heads held high as though
their necks cannot be severed,
mouths running, as though
their breaths could not be halted,
arms swinging, as though
their hands would not be burned.

Your rattling bones hold together
just long enough to take my
circuited hands in yours, and you
whisper your last breaths of life
to tell me that death should be
feared, not avoided—escaped.

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A Mortal in Armour, Among Immortals Walking

A poem about life and death by Ai Jiang.

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