A Geometer Relishes His Fear Of The Horizontal Axis // Shakthi Shrima

Unrehearsed,
a shape mouthed to the hitch
of the immaculate before frenzy, lavish
with the curriculum of quicksilver
his hands have become; spits small crimes
of erasure, flint-fisted and posthumous, spits

plunging curves and the noose
of her nomenclature, spits garbled lattices
ruined and haughty, planes clutched, planes
sagged with asymptotes; corrugated wrists
twisted with the husk of each slope, the flinch
of tangency; spits

the bough of something
swallowed by itself, the churn
of each projection splayed in his space
without pause, the strewn inspectors
of a narrowed eye; spits this confluence of exactitudes,
spits

what doubt? He’s built
a steel claw for his shuddering
beneath every point, raking each surface until
what won’t be stomached
quiets to the pivot and croon
of the place numbers go when divided
by zero, the line
between fear and awe.

Shakthi Shrima has been restless with words ever since she could read. When she isn’t doing math, rereading Nabokov, or writing, she can be found behind her camera, drinking coffee, or humming at obnoxious volumes. Her favorite poets are Mark Doty and Neil Aitken. She will probably cry if she doesn’t get to be an algebraic number theorist, and currently resides in Austin, Texas with her Dracaena braunii, Aristotle.