Oct/Nov 2004 Poetry Special Feature

On paper

by Arlene Ang

On paper

it is easy to outline objectives:
plot a five-point star whose sides

are the sum of a canary's heartbeat,
determine the frontier of set S

when intersected by segment X;
if in doubt, consult an analyst.

Years after, the rhubarb still
blocks the driveway. Family

heirlooms thrive in this manner.
The inflatable pool in the yard

is holed with darts. Pregnancies
are mathematical problems where

correction pens bleed away,
transparent as chicken soup.

On her eighth month, a mother
spends hours calculating random

ovulation and math homeworks over
her belly. The pulse of summer:

upstairs then down, unplanned children
screech like unstable atoms.


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