NaPoWriMo 2023 (Day 20)

What will future archaeologists from human or alien civilizations make of us? Today, I’m challenged to answer with a poem. My poem should explore an object or place from the point of view of the future scientist.

n Si(CH3)2Cl2 + n H2O → [Si(CH3)2O]n + 2n HCl

n Si(CH3)2(CH3COO)2 + n H2O → [Si(CH3)2O]n + 2n CH3COOH

They discovered it around the start of what they called
the Twentieth Century, which related to keeping track
of and measuring what they called time… beginning
with when one of their five thousand or so gods supposedly lived,
as best we can tell, given their early rudimentary measurement devices.

As far as we know, some called it rubber or plastic
but eventually virtually all said silicone because few could pronounce
polydimethylsiloxane in any one of their hundreds of languages.
Before they died off, this stuff was virtually everywhere
sometimes solving, and at times, causing problems.

We cannot examine or test anything they did anywhere
without finding this stuff in use by them, internally and externally.
We find it in all parts of their semi-decomposed bodies, mostly
to make lips, breasts, and other sexual organs look inflated
or larger. Eventually, it was everywhere. We find it in clothing,
on them as sexual lubricants and toys, and in everything they looked at or touched.

We mostly take it for granted now and we suspect
they did, too. They used it for rudimentary rockets but when
they failed to test it completely, it let them down and caused
many deaths. In fact, we can accurately determine when
things happened by how they used silicone before what they called
“artificial intelligence” (which was real) made their existence redundant.

Look both ways.
But study the past and appreciate the present.
Mind the gaps when the AI starts working together at night in your garage.


Click on the NaPo 2023 button to see the challenge and to read more poems (not all are on prompt).


This is very brief clip from The Graduate: