pearls

Afterthought 1352—Your Nothings

Posted in nothing special by maggie on 2016/10/30

No nothing is the same as any other.

A mathematician you once thought you knew
tried to explain his unique proof of that to me.
He lost me at the part about different infinities
and about lines and curves in complex space
and about time's role in actuarial equivalences.
Or maybe I lost him in an earlier dream he had,
back when the three of us were first together
with nothing expected and nothing promised,
and neither of those the same as this nothing,
this nothing we've had to make something of.

Set it all equal to nothing.

Like the quadratic equation, he says. Like what?
Oh. Another metaphor. Make it all as a metaphor.
Like a metaphor. As though a metaphor. Same as.
I had to learn it the hard way. I had to be nothing.
His quadratic equation's nothing. Euler's nothing.
Einstein's nothing. Aristotle's nothing. Then yours.
Class remained in session. I walked the empty hall.
Outside the fires of riot were lighting up the streets.
A strange woman was taking your place in his bed.
He got rid of her by explaining his proof of nothings.
Turned out she was just Pilate's grandson in drag.
Truth is nothing. No nothing's same as any other.

Divide nothing into itself. Repeatedly.

I always believe you. You made me. He said so too.
So where was I to fly when you showed what I am
to you? All your brochures, they turn into the world
you wage war against. I believe in you. It's nothing
to me to be nothing to you. The sacred statue goes
back to its ancient home tonight. You'll make it up
to me. He works out who everyone is supposed to
be before our eyes. Bank hard left. Make it all yours.

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2 Responses

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  1. macheide said, on 2016/11/01 at 12:47

    Yes, & no unknown is ever the same as any other. Good write. Reminds me of the first time you put up with one of my math lectures.

    • maggie said, on 2016/11/02 at 09:54

      And well this ought remind you of that math lecture,
      since I requested that lecture from you on the advice of Nancy,
      for whom and for whose daughter this poem was written.


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