Naiad Math

You should see us try to fix numbers on our slates.
Not the cuneiform weapons of swordfish could aid us

when rounding off near an estuary.
Doing arithmetic, we turn color like the octopus.

Geometry is just as difficult — adding aquaeous angles
during rough winds made one of the Limnades weep.

(We weep anyway, by our hems and hair-ends.)
But counting spirals and stripes on shelly things delights us:

noticing series voiced by cicadas, likewise.
There’s solace in the horizon: the nothingness above

divided by this teemingness below
makes room, by which we come to figure.

*

The continuum assumption states that we
are none of us discrete, but move in kind

through your cerebrum, without which
there would be no medium for thought.

And yet they flow sparkling through you,
these mental waters, only at our discretion.

A three-dimensional vortex begins to rotate
and comes the wave cascading on itself

flexing like the flank of the oryx as it runs;
flushing the pipes and mouths the years

have fashioned from habitual assumption
like glimmering variables through an algorithm.

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