Tuesday, May 03, 2011

THE AL-KHWARIZMI IN YOU

There's an algebra
for all of it:
the windmills
behind the casino
turning their giant Xs
into late night whys,
the moon's curvature
like a midnight calculus,
the tide rising
into the asymptotic
longing of a line.
Even for the arc
of a brand new
table tennis paddle
that your sweaty hand
now grips
or the velocity of the balls
(larger than they've
ever been)
spinning across the net
between your namesake
and your imagination.
Where he,
still a baby
burps and sighs
asleep in a crib.
The trajectory
seeming derivative,
almost always
of the desire.
Two Greek letters
on different sides
of an equation,
each ciphering
the other,
each signifying
an absence
by their italicised presence.
Daddy, Daddy,
don't you know
I miss you,
his sigh says.
He rests his head
on the hollow
of your chest.
Asks when
are you coming back?
There's an algebra
for all of it.
What you've
done with the days
since you left,
what you tried to do,
or might have tried,
had you correctly
solved for all the variables,
though you had
no slope to graph,
no slide to rule them.
A gulf
with no echoes
for answers.
As he whispered
to you once,
his lips are
an empty set now.
Two brackets
attempting an embrace
because kisses,
however long ago,
count and multiply
in the abacus of memory.
Moments that
can only approximate
an algorithm.
There's an algebra
for all of it,
the floating
function of the seagulls,
the breaking
but unbroken waves,
the ghostly geometry
of the foam.
Perhaps even
for how two pairs
of footprints,
non-linear as any equation
whose notation
haunts the horizon,
might solve
all this sand
between them.

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