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๐—Ÿ๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฃ๐—ผ๐—ฒ๐—บ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฎ ๐—ก๐—ฒ๐˜๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ธ ๐—”๐—ฑ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฟ

๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜‹๐˜ฆ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ฉ ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ด


(๐—™๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐— ๐˜†๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ช. ๐—ก๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—œ๐—œ๐—œ)


I want to send this Valentine

To you, my engineer,

in a user-friendly language

so my feelings are quite clear.


You found me just as if I were

an operating system,

With complex codes from Microsoft So many, you can't list 'em.

You studied me, before we met, examined my directories

for preferences in music,

wine, and sexual expectories.

โ€ข


We met; you scanned me carefully, And whispered your conclusion: My blue eyes, at .1 dot pitch,

Foretold fine resolution.


You asked if I were intimate

with user protocol,

and whether, in the end, I would allow you to install


a network rich with memory

completely uninhibited,

with gigabytes of software

and sole access to you limited.


You held my hand, and absently would double click my knuckle The closer it would get to your Snapped shirt and your belt buckle.


You offered me your spreadsheet and you taught me how to use it. You installed it in my laptop

Where I'd likely not abuse it.


You swore you'd read my hypertext whenever it appeared,

You threw away password protect. Old messages were cleared.

My poems, the programs that I wrote, You read, though I'm no Plath, as if you'd find my heart in their AUTOEXEC.BAT. path.


Although your history with kids Was brief, you were my icon,

For it was you who got the air

For tires to ride the bike on.


Now, when ants are in the bathroom, and the kids want pre-dawn hugs, I look to you for your advice.

You're good at fixing bugs.


And when we go out in the car, My door, you activate.

You launch my chair at dinner, Make eye contact while we wait.


You offer me the MENU

And absorb the big expenses,

And whenever I've forgotten mine, You offer me your lenses.


You format me for breakfasts

and you renovate my chassis

With romantic trips to mountain springs. You treat my dog like Lassie.


You help me optimize my house, You help define the grey scale. You make electric things turn on, And make fun of my junk mail.


You bring wood to the fireplace, You help me to reboot.

You put up with user group's

behavior that's not cute.


But most of all, you fill my head with megabytes of laughter,

and ongoing connections

that are sweet forever after.


I find you on my monitor

responsive, every day

It means so much to me to know you're never far away.

Your cheerful voice, your silliness reminds me of my own,

This comfort of connectedness Is one I've never known.


You're now a power user,

of my software and my drives, I'm working on the licensing

Required of ex-wives,


I hope you'll open up Drive C and download all of this,

And let it prompt you, night or day, As if it were a kiss.


And if you need a hand from me, I'll soothe your MHZ,

Defrag your ROM just like your mom, And sometimes iron your shirts.


I love to cook you dinner,

and make coffee dense as DOSKEY, then to find a landscape posture in your arms to hear Bukowski.

You needn't ask, I'll multitask in every way I can,

Sweep your garageโ€”or do massage To Ethernet our LAN.


Let me be your docking station Be your mother board, to start. I would love a hard connection to The circuits of your heart.


Let me feel you boot your system in the morning when you wake, Let me keep your programs flowing Even when they are half baked.


Let me be your surge protector, Let me be your on/off switch. I will be your back up copy

And try not to be a bitch.


I love you more than memory, and more than all the power

from an upgrade to your laptop, or from singing in the shower,

I envy all the keys that feel

your touch when you're logged on,

I'd love to be the mouse you hold

when working until dawn,


But I love the way you hold me

when we're quiet, late at night,

So I'll share you with the Internet,

And be your faithful byte.


When all is said and done, my love, I'll write-protect each word,

And send it to my Valentine,

My sweet beloved nerd.



Love, from Deborah, on Valentine's Day, 1997.



Deborah Thomas lives in Cape Meares, Oregon, and has been writing poetry since she learned how to read and write. Her work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, The Seneca Review, The Friendly Street Poetry Reader, Northwest Review, Red Sky, Halfway Down the Stairs, and Prometheus Dreaming. She has given invited readings at The University of Aukland, The University of Rochester Plutzik Poetry Series, Writerโ€™s Week in Adelaide, SA. After winning a love poem contest on "A Prairie Home Companion," she was interviewed by host, Garrison Keillor, and read her โ€œAnniversary Poemโ€ on the air. She has self published a book of poetry for friends and family, "The Light in the Refrigerator", and is working on a novel about how a village of 65 retired residents deal with an imminent earthquake and tsunami off the Oregon Coast. She writes what she most wants to tell her children, but not necessarily at the dinner table.



Speculative fiction & POETRY ZINE
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