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Ada (or, Byron’s Daughter)

by Iris A. Law

  • I who man this power
  • of machine walk not in beauty
  • but in ordered lines each mark
  • ruled rigid straight against
  • the inclined path the numerals
  • discrete within their cells
  • good wives who wait
  • for news of salt or tolling brass
  • will pine for tar-black
  • ash but I will wait for no
  • one save the compassed
  • bodies tracing out
  • the sun its paper cage
  • its cart the punch by which
  • we grind the number
  • from its house hence let
  • there be a function such that x
  • stands for the vortex-pull of blood
  • and y the black of suckled
  • ink then plot me out against
  • the clacking brass and say
  • that I was born between the horns
  • of two green stars the one
  • warm womb and me its sticky
  • worm encoiled within its sac

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