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a beautiful girl herself
writes
poems in code

an invented shorthand
created by eliminating
penstrokes from each word

a beautiful girl herself
writes
poems in code

lovers are assigned unique symbols
comprised of the lines
in the letters
of their middle names

a beautiful girl herself
writes
poems in code

she had ciphers for every mood:

compressions
for saving paper,
she said,
and ink
bizarre letter substitution schemes
for the beauty,
she said,
of new words
Hamming codes and error correction sequences
I can tear each word
in half,
she said,
and my poem remains
intact
clever word plays and shuffling algorithms
this poem,
she said,
takes several times longer
to read,
than it did
to write
barcodes.
ribbons of alternating thin and thick lines
I love the binary language,
she said,
because it's so
precise

a beautiful girl herself
writes
poems in code

I asked her
what is it, that you are so
beautiful and wise?

a beautiful girl,
like all the young girls,
falls in love and repeats,

"Fear."

Nathan Oostendorp/Naomi Tsukamoto; Feb 17, 1999
(the italicized words on the left are from Naomi's poem "Missing Parts")