A Programmer Falls In Love

I’ll be your algorithm
Clunky and jagged
Rank sorting your desires
And calibrating to your whims.

I have spent so much of my life cold
That the calculation is nothing.

Passion is too poorly engineered
Neither off nor on
But somewhere in-between.
Cross the chasm and fear equals lust
And trust loathing;
The black dog barks at you
And butterflies bite.
Error, error.

No, thank you.

I have iterated the perfect breakfast
And I drink my coffee at 79.4 °C.
Eggs must be boiled for 6 minutes, 17 seconds
And, on the advice of Epicurus,
I forego the sight of you opposite me
At the breakfast table,
Lips glossed with butter and legs crossed
Improbably parallel
Your nakedness spilling through your nightgown.

I wish I were Newton and that logarithms
Were better company.

I dislike the disruption of my gears,
The constant switching over of the machine
From one person to the next.
I could change if you could just be you,
A function, true,
Within a tempest of moods.

And yet, here you are, embedded in my code,
An infinite recursive loop.

Passion is perfectly engineered.


I don’t know what to do here,
at the end of our pretending,
where your absence reveals you
and makes you real at last.

We were a language too threadbare for names
too fragile for nouns;
and once a language has broken down
you cannot even say,
“the language has broken down”;
you open your mouth to speak and choke on muck.
Muck is the misunderstanding
of misunderstanding itself.

Muck us, muck all.

I cannot name this place:
the end of pretend is not the truth;
make believe does not unmake belief
when it dissolves.

And so I smile when asked,
and lie.