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Lawrence Lee

Blackbody Metaphor

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The spy spent long hours crafting his message, which contained information vital to his country and kin. For reasons still unknown, he used three cyphers, but only one—the one cleverly keyed to unpublished events in his pre-war life—would reveal the true nature of his warning. “My countrymen will know in a flash which is correct,” he told himself, certain their shared experience would make obvious his intent. But when decoded at last by thirty determined cryptographers, not three, but thirty different messages were revealed, and each rang true as a silver bell (if certain assumptions were made). Sadly, though, no agreement could be reached as to which was more correct.


The war was lost.

Years later, the spy, when questioned under torture, simply repeated, sobbing, over and over, these inscrutable words: “I’m am Poetry!"

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