The Number Shortage


The official mathematicians convened

in regards to the geometric circle

and a line between two points,

and due to lack of resources and

internal disputes, they said no numbers

would be left over for anyone that year.


“Wait at the post office,” they said.

“Something might come through.”

But the number dispenser was bust,

and I would have waited there indefinitely

or at least until I had grown rust.


I never had a problem with the numbers

that I drew (though penciled and crude).

I’ve had long-standing relationships

with every number that I’ve known.

What’s this about all the numbers

being taken?  (I wondered)  This is surely

something new.



This poem appeared in Milvia St. Journal 2006

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Petals with soft tattered edges fall

from time’s manifold,

a praying mantis waiting placid

for the last story told.


Night tucks close the dreams

round a girl’s nestled head

as high clouds dance their muse

against the window’s ledge.


I think of her eyes,

far away now from the hours,

under arch and span to shield

them from the earthly powers.


Small shadows rest

in squares across my hand

as heart sends out the message

that only blood can understand.


An unveiling intuition

making flight through crystal space

to lay a secret kiss

upon her sleeping face



A version of this poem appeared in Milvia St. Journal 2006

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I remember San Francisco

holding Mom’s hand

with Christmas in the air:

mechanical Santa Clauses

peering in repetition

through the display window


A homeless lady hunched

under woolly quilts

holding out her empty

McDonald’s cup for change:

a spotted pup sleeping

in a box beside her.


Riding the escalator up

to see the giant Christmas tree

erected in the middle of Macy’s,

I anxiously thought

of the Lego display ahead.



wearing my coon skin cap,

the lady across from us

said I must be a reincarnation

of either Lewis or Clark.

My mom smiled and said that

we were Christians

and didn’t believe

in those kinds of things,

but I looked into her eyes

and longed to believe.



This poem appeared in Milvia St. Journal 2007

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