Barely Finite

Location

I dreamt that I was in a room
A sort of not- so- distant future-savvy place
Where the truth appeared in holograms, and the room asked me
From its barely finite store of semi-synthetic intelligence
The classic question
I was the game I had played as a child
If you had one wish
Could change one thing
Just one chance
But only one
What would it be?
I was tempted –
Indeed I felt obligated to myself –
To answer nothing
Because the unexpected word seemed so profound
In this almost omnipotent dual-dimensional cube
That I felt it had to be the right answer
But just to be sure, I asked the room to compile a list
Of all the stains and horrors of the world
But when it began pulling words like polio, communication gaps, unsafe travel
I realized that it had misunderstood
So I asked the room again
This time for the horrors that had not become obsolete
And the holograms formed scenes of murder, war, racism
But why waste a wish on the things
That we had the power to control?
So I asked the room only for the horrors
That mankind could not already change
And the roomed produced for me such things as
Death and the weather
But I didn’t have the heart to do away
With things that filled me with such awe
And unspoken respect
I wasn’t until the holograms had once again disappeared
That I realized how small the room was
So I asked the room one last question
Since you are free to have infinite desires
And could find a way to change or endure almost anything
However many
The possibilities being barely finite
Where would you start?
And while it was computing
I left the room
To think
Shutting the door behind me

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