If X = your heart, and Y = the time away, what is the distance Z you still need to travel?
Your brother used to say about your father: “If he talks for more than five minutes, he starts speaking algebra.”
If algebra is a foreign language, can you solve the country for Y?
In summer school a math teacher throws a desk at a student. If the desk weighs fifteen pounds, the teacher two hundred and ten, what is the internal pressure of a hot day trapped inside window panes and chalk lines?
Engineers and architects love it, you hear. And musicians. You think about music, about beat and count and the scrolling notes on the page. How many beats per minute of a butterfly’s breath, how many arpeggios inside your lungs? You’d like to build a house and a bridge, you imagine the coefficients arcing into place elegantly, like a circular staircase.
You love geometry, the building of triangles, the circumscribing of paths. Water to air, hand to mouth. But the alphabet has abandoned you here. These symbols cannot lead you home.
Photo by Ben Clinch on Flickr