Dear Absolute Certainty,
Here’s a domain just for you: math.com,
prisms and pyramids, area of a polygon,
the power of x. Like Prince said I guess
I shoulda known, only I didn’t, or not enough
about classifying angles, congruent figures,
the formula for volume. Thank you, 2piR,
2a + 2b, for certain beyond unquestionable,
for the stupefying quiz at unit’s end.
You call it a root; I’ll call it a clothesline.
Together we’ll get the dishes done,
and no one will go home empty-place-
holdered. My eclipse, my unknown,
I’m honoring you with a pair of forever
lines, with a co-sin I’ve just replaced
with a conundrum. Dear Pythagoras/
nebulous, this triangle’s got three legs—
one’s the curlicue of a question mark,
the others dangle like the legs of a wasp.
I should be backing slowly away,
but I guess I must be dumb like a frog pond
dusted with pollen. Wanting to thank you,
but instead I’m falling backwards
into a cloud like a giant mutt—though wait,
now it’s a pair of pterosaurs, a skull.
Martha Silano has authored four poetry books, including The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception and Reckless Lovely (both from Saturnalia Books). She also co-edited, with Kelli Russell Agodon, of The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice (Two Sylvias Press 2013), edits Crab Creek Review, and teaches at Bellevue College. She is the recipient of North American Review’s 2014 James Hearst Poetry Prize and The Cincinnati Review’s 2013 Adele & Robert Schiff Poetry Award.