by Taylor Allen

Creation stands in his labMichelangelo-creation
Perfecting the weak spots of the human body.
He sews fine animal hairs
Into the pores one by one.
He peers through his microscope, creating plant veins
Crafted from tissue paper.
Roots of trees
Plowed into the ground like tent spokes.
He threads diamonds
Into thick black cloth
To cover the sun when it is night.

When the first draft of the world is complete,
Creation sends his work
To Beta testers,
Adam and Eve. The first stage is the most beautiful;
Creation spent years distinguishing each aspect of it.
The escape button is a red apple
On the far left of the main menu—
An expansive oak tree.
They use it out of curiosity
Or perhaps because of a bug in the operating system.

Adam and Eve like Creation’s work, but
They want more.
Morals, ethics, complicated multiple-choice options
That Creation did not prepare for.

Now he sits at his microscope
Poring over the pock marks in brick, then the gleam of steel.
Users have advanced past the rudimentary shelter Creation provided
And need new textures.

Factories spew smoke into Creation’s perfect sky,
Bombarding his invisible firewall.
In an effort to appease his users,
He sketches the flakes of ash with shaking hands
And a charcoal pencil.

But this is meantime work—
He should be establishing
Right and Wrong,
Yes and No,
Why and Why Not.

While Adam and Eve wait for the update,
They forge their own way,
Hacking into the mainframe
And editing here and there,
Making universal decisions
And claiming it to be Creation’s doing.

Soon Creation finds his inbox empty
And his updates obsolete.
Adam and Eve have gathered other users
To stay permanently.
He recedes into his lab
And wonders if he should forfeit his world entirely.

He makes one last try,
Sends out one last update,
But it glitches the system
And remains unused.

Taylor Allen is a sophomore at Riverside High School in Greenville, South Carolina. She volunteers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics section of Roper Mountain Science Center and loves her position there working with children. However, she loves writing more than anything and recently attended a creative writing program at South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities and intends to apply to their residential program.