Thursday, February 08, 2007

So. Good.

"Uncommon Denominators"

I add up the times I’ve fantasized about
women I’ve seen but never spoken to
and divide that by the hoursI drive past cemeteries and add again
the weight of breath in your mouth
measured in the ancient Tagalog word for yes
— but the number always comes out the same

So I subtract the moonand the smell of incense on Good Friday
trying to connect Planck’s Constant
to the quantum moment between a candlelit flick and the back of your neck
setting aside my 7 dreams of having sex once
with Tyra Banks who tells me God
You Filipino guys know
how to make love to a woman and even if I tally the 10,069
channels launched by satelliteswhich have an asymptotic relationship
to the count of stones cast
from a sinner’s fist raised
to the power of eight million punch-clockstiffs heading home late
still the number comes out the same
and when a beggar pirouettes along an expressway’s center lane
swearing this won’t be his last
cigarette (smoke rising fromthe rust in his moustache ) I suddenly know
the acceleration of a falling body
has little to do with slippinga mother into the ground or
a whole greater than the sum of its parts

And if you ask what I’m doing
with 7 loaves and 4 fish multiplied
by the root of a dried tamarind tree
or the coefficient of friction
of a bullet on the brink of a rib
or the number of clips emptied
into an unarmed Guinean man
on a dark Bronx stoop I’ll tell you
I’m looking for the exact
coordinates of falling in love plus or minus
the width of a single finger
lost along the axis of your lips

Patrick Rosal

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