I am a woman who wades in numbers,
soak myself in abstract configurations;
I jet-stream massage statistics to know,
find the answers, solve the riddle of it,
the non-numerical, innumerable queries
cried in words, a seemingly literary call,
but responsive to figures and values one
of twenty-four-seven and three-hundred
sixty-four in sixty times fifty-two or so set
give or take, plus or minus, more or less.
“I’ve got your number,” no one ever said,
but clichés are like that, ubiquitous stain
on creativity’s spine like the cafe au lait
spot on the leg or neck, a birth mark blot,
red, brown or invisibly zero’d out erased.
Countless ones perched in memory slate
have added up the sum total of me, mine,
all I ever was and will be with smug sure
black and white like chalk on the boards
while flunking 365 true or false quizzes.
But not you, caresser of amassed details,
not data strokes, the airy waves of ideas
you throat-throw in fast, furious pitches
speeding in, aimed as weapon or homer,
at me batting less than top ranking 1000,
an average way below that .264, a mean,
the high and low of its streak of 9 no-hits;
I can never catch up, analyze every word
to track your wins from losses and defeat
the purpose, our aims on par, hole-in-one.
We sport and play, linger and dally over
tenderous scars and spots, skin wounds
that narrate each misstep, spill or crash
we each separately, singly, absorbed in
seconds of lost sight, a blink of timeless
clicks of the clock in a silent living room
when we were youth without any history
past an endless future of anything goes.
But now, in lengthening hours, sun light
of sinless spins marks us immeasurably.
When you and I are old enough to know
that the feet we were, those inches along
the road miles we never traveled in truth
did not matter as many or few glimpses,
insights into the relativity of relationships
fleeting and forever moving us in spaces,
places of perspectival generosity, a glee
of open doors, 1, 2 and 3, any alphabet
of understanding what counts, laughter,
touch, dream, a lantern glow in the mist.
I am a woman who drifts by the numbers,
ten by ten, mostly, often two by two-some,
just to tease the moment with complexity,
a game too many of us weak minded play.
“Age doesn’t matter,” you say, yet it does
to those who count; we count on them too
to whisper wordless songs in even tempo,
carrying the tune of eons engraving aural
flesh in a lilting lullaby, humming mindless
motion that apes the arrows of linear time.