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Calculations: A Love Poem

From: New England Review
Volume 34, Number 3-4, 2014
p. 333 | 10.1353/ner.2014.0024

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The billionth digit of pi is 9,
The last month without a full moon,
February, 1865—
This morning I am making a list
Of the last lines of parables
About the work of numbers, about
Calculations, marking the speed
With which blood travels, as if three feet
Per second were like the blessings
On the late workers in a vineyard
Or a son just home from living with swine.

Someone continues the division
That computes the decimals of pi—
He is telling a story, numerals
Spilling out toward infinity,
The counting a language, a life
Beyond this one, as difficult
To believe as the number of hours
We’ve slept together, darkness returning
And vanishing, the moments, nightly,
Between your breaths, the hesitations
In your deep sleep; my own held breath,
Listening, and then, temporarily
Relieved, turning toward the window,
Reciting the autonomic lesson
Of your lungs that swell and shrink
At last, in rhythm, their vital
Capacity, in liters, 3.1.

Gary Fincke  

Gary Fincke’s collection of poems, The History of Permanence (Austin University Press, 2011), was awarded the Stephen F. Austin Poetry Prize. His most recent book, a collection of stories, is The Proper Words for Sin (West Virginia University Press, 2013). Fincke is the Charles Degenstein Professor of Creative Writing at Susquehanna University.

Copyright © 2014 Middlebury College Publications
Project MUSE® - View Citation
Gary Fincke. "Calculations: A Love Poem." New England Review 34.3 (2014): 333-333. Project MUSE. Web. 28 Feb. 2014. <http://muse.jhu.edu/>.
Fincke, G.(2014). Calculations: A Love Poem. New England Review 34(3), 333. Middlebury College. Retrieved February 28, 2014, from Project MUSE database.
Gary Fincke. "Calculations: A Love Poem." New England Review 34, no. 3 (2014): 333-333. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed February 28, 2014).
T1 - Calculations: A Love Poem
A1 - Gary Fincke
JF - New England Review
VL - 34
IS - 3
SP - 333
EP - 333
PY - 2014
PB - Middlebury College
SN - 2161-9131
UR - http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/new_england_review/v034/34.3-4.fincke.html
N1 - Volume 34, Number 3-4, 2014
ER -


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