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by Jessica Harman



Studying math and sinking, curling myself against the ink
of space-time, I learned to understand nothing

but where my feet had touched fragile ellipse.
I saw myself becoming smaller

at the back of my mind. In the disappearing
clouds, I knew,

in the right mood making shivers down
parabolas scratched

on loose leaf, I was put face to face with emptiness.

I whirled in days, matrices in the library, smelling the fresh
graffiti gouged in the desk's pine. I began to intuit

the flight patterns of birds, discovering that a flock
was easier to calculate than a single stray

sparrow heading into sunset. Wan light
reflecting off of bricks

and concrete nicked the angular city. I was obsessed
with trajectory and grid, though sometimes, studying, my mind would

wander into brushstrokes, where delicate artistry made me
as soft as shadows across falling apples. The frenzied shock

of the gap from book to sparrow, algebra to art, from color
to color, from here to there.


Copyright 2008 by Jessica Harman

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