— for Dominik and Phoebe Diamond
She added one to my one: but no-one
saw this fling as more than binary.
My processor said “it’s just for fun”—
good enough for now, anyway.
But O her 0 got to my 1,
my fan superheated, all or none,
her cipher stuck in my circuit: done.
A ceaseless loop of 0s and 1s,
she locked herself in me, unlocked
that bloody melt across my screen,
smeared me vertical, set a plot
against my function, sent obscene
batch code: it was love or alone,
0 or 1, shrink or come. And I
chose to stay inside her, not run
like I’d always done. Why?
Her viral advance hexed my keys:
now our digits merge into infinity.
JAMES W. WOOD has written four books of poetry including The Anvil’s Prayer (2013), and a thriller. He is published in the UK, US and Canada, including The TLS, Poetry Review, London Magazine, Fiddlehead, South-West Review, Boston Review and others. Educated at Cambridge, he won a scholarship to Boston University and lives in Toronto.