You see an owl. Darkling, its wing rush
brushes the chamber’s curved cheek, sketching
a path you step into. Your pocketed hand.
You meet a man at work. He unpacks
his device, canted, black as your jacket,
a dark nostalgia. On the table
a bonsai strains in its vessel. May you
ask him a personal question?
What is a personal question?
You light a cigarette. Smoke rises, catching
what sun slips through the shaded glass.
Behind the veil: your eyes lambent
as two coins. It won’t affect the test.

It’s your birthday. Your eyes like coins.
How can it not know what it is?

O providence, its owlish face.
Easy to speak of commerce atop
his own golden ziggurat, its twin
dimmed and looming. Factory, forge.

An experiment, nothing more says Tyrell,
naming the past a gift as if he’d never heard
of a mother devoured by her young.
That archeological landscape,
silent as a sphinx.

We began to recognize in them
a strange obsession

He never names it.

Rachael; Voight-Kampff Test by Jan Bottiglieri

Image from Blade Runner (1982)