and I wonder if my lineage is one of women shrinking
making space for the entrance of men into their lives
not knowing how to fill it back up once they leave. - Shrinking Woman, Lily Myers
I didn’t want my picture taken because I was going to cry. I didn’t know why I was going to cry, but I knew that if anybody spoke to me or looked at me too closely the tears would fly out of my eyes and the sobs would fly out of my throat and I’d cry for a week. I could feel the tears brimming and sloshing in me like water in a glass that is unsteady and too full.
BY CARL SANDBURG
(for the ghost of Johann Sebastian Bach)
He was born to wonder about numbers.
He balanced fives against tens
and made them sleep together
and love each other.
He took sixes and sevens
and set them wrangling and fighting
over raw bones.
He woke up twos and fours
out of baby sleep
and touched them back to sleep.
He managed eights and nines,
gave them prophet beards,
marched them into mists and mountains.
He added all the numbers he knew,
multiplied them by new-found numbers
and called it a prayer of Numbers.
For each of a million cipher silences
he dug up a mate number
for a candle light in the dark.
He knew love numbers, luck numbers,
how the sea and the stars
are made and held by numbers.
He died from the wonder of numbering.
He said good-by as if good-by is a number.