Difference Engine: It is early; I am small. Everything is built to tolerance. The priest detours water to my scalp & face. His accent shortens my vowel. He is naming—and renaming—me. Mother corrects him, but I have to do it again. ( I will wait nineteen years for the opportunity. ) Brass gears crank and waver. Engine reads: Gödel, Lovelace, Derrida. Engine prints: psychopomp, mockingbird, chuck-wills-widow. This is assignment, a baptism in variables that spellcheck catches. Input/output housed in separate units. I change my name not to fool God, but to fool myself. It is a trigger. It is past my time. Speak slowly, now. Speak slowly.
first published in, "La Grande Dame est morte! Vive la Grande Dame!"
T.A. Noonan's The Bone Folders won the 2007 Heartland Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from Cracked Slab Books. She edits Flaming Giblet Press and the online journal grain short/grain long. In May 2009, she will receive her PhD from the University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Writers