Wandering into the Math Classroom
An equation's still on the board,
square roots, division in so many rows
it looks like blueprints for cliff dwellings,
something the Anasazi built and left
without explanation, water spirals,
sun daggers and zigzags.
I cannot read these lines, but marvel
at their mystery, pleased that someone knows
and writes them down, repeats the scribal
calligraphy so they will not die.
A friend once told me a proof was beautiful,
and I had to take on faith the rhythm
was graceful, the narrative gathered
to a finish packed with drama
and desire. And though I've never had
the interest or energy to learn that language,
it thrills me to imagine another inflection
courting inflection, the romance justified.
How another man also believes
that at some point, in some way, we will
find the words to invoke salvation.
Jack Stewart was educated at the University of Alabama and
Emory University. From 1992-95 he was a Brittain Fellow at The Georgia Institute
of Technology. His work has appeared in Poetry,
The Gettysburg Review, The American Literary Review, The Southern
Humanities Review, and other journals and anthologies, most recently in The South Carolina Review.