Alan Turing, 7 June 1954
With my eyes closed I can almost see you
playing a game of noughts and crosses
during French class at Sherbone
your china white schoolboy fingers
wrapped around a pencil
prying at the gates of mystery
with your vanadium steel mind.
Left alone against sulking cold bricks,
I pressed myself into your shadow
walked away with it and
puzzled my way through the war
in a whitewashed hut at Bletchley,
creating the bombe that proved
contradiction can deduce
Now I have bungled my way to infamy
The “burglary and buggery”
being turned into a woman
for not being a proper man,
one can only giggle at the irony.
Now, the war has gone cold
they fear one drunken stumbling kiss
on a cobbled Manchester street
might infect the world
with a rash of atomic weapons.
Under their microscope,
I have had nothing left to do
but search the whorls
of fircones and daisy carpels
mapped with all mathematical certainty,
combing through the numbers
for an echo that might be you.
It is time to give up
this young man’s game.
soon the scent of bitter almonds
will send me off to sleep,
the poison apple on the nightstand
a symbol of the forbidden, hope
that your crooked smile and lightning wit,
will wake me from this dream.