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Poetry

THE MATHEMATICIAN AND THE ANT.

By Desmond Hearne MorreyPoetry | Spring 2021

Crack (Series), Vincent Zhu
 

I am following an ant, 

watching its shiny black carapace 

scuttle, (patriotically), into battle. 

II 

I’ve read that they smell each other 

(or, whatever an ant’s understanding of smell might be) and separate themselves from the enemy with olfactory banners. I myself having no scent of war, 

am invisible. 

III 

My friend tells me: 

“Spiders are fine, they 

don’t know 

that they’re creeping around 

on a creature (a person, 

a whole subjective unit) 

But centipedes 

will fuck you up.” 

IV 

The color of the world (on bright days) 

differentiates things, and I find joy in their multiplicity. The same light reflects, refracts, many times, many ways, and I touch these borders of brilliance, 

grasp and rip them from each other, and 

set them up in a little row. 

One thing, two things, three things… 

A ladybug lands on a poem. I am 

fascinated and so 

I drop a cookie crumb to her. She 

finds it, tastes it, and 

the sugar is too sweet, 

too much, and she 

runs in circles over it. 

(I, on the other hand, 

have eaten the rest of the cookie)

VI 

They say (my professors) 

that we must start with nothing (the empty set), and then continue to add (and 

rephrase, and bound, and contain) itself, and this is how we reach 

infinity. We start with one 

leaf, and find another 

and soon we have collected 

everything (and more). 

VII 

If I flew away from here (on gossamer wings) and turned back, would I see 

so many colors? The bright reds of 

autumn leaves, the grays and 

yellow lights of urbanity? 

VIII 

I say 

that I walk across poems and 

do not know if the land I love 

is a creature, and do not know 

when one ends 

and two begins.