Today's poem is by Paul Guest

The Numbers are Not In

The world is filled with those who want
someone else, just as the word
is split in halves, or hemispheres
if we want the world that says it
with a measure of beauty. Most times,
we do. But tonight, what
you get is halves. Tonight
what you get is another unanswered
question. Something like,
why do cyclones spin counter-clockwise
in this half of the world?
Something like my thoughts
in the shower, my body
washed by someone else,
and I'm thinking of dark matter,
not because my heart
on its haunches sits bleeding out
like last week's pitiful possum,
its hateful mouth red raw,
but because dark matter is one more thing
I won't ever understand.
No knowledge could I put on
that might plug the holes,
that might seal the chinks
through which my mind goes
after you. When I read
the absurd science
of how we might one day upload our minds,
it's Ted Williams
I'm thinking of:
his severed head
poorly cared for
in its Kelvin crypt of absolute zero,
now cracked, now
the Splendid Splinter even in death.
And it's that wish
to come back better
or new,
to walk out onto the pliant summers
of our best years
when we knew sex to be as easy as breath
and like the next,
assured. Love, the dark
that waits, holds
answers like a winning hand
and I've stopped
asking. Whatever I know,
I build it as a bird
builds her fragile bowl of a nest.
And in that nest a bird sings.
Of course,
of course,
she sings to the yolk white world inside each blue egg
and for a time,
for as long as I can stand,
I listen.

Copyright © 2006 Paul Guest All rights reserved
from Passages North
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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