Mary Tweed’s proper figure
is in shadow on the blackboard,
she’s got straight hair back in an elastic,
she’s briskly jotting figures, answers,
codes, a whole wealth of possibilities,
of physic options,
on the board. chalk
nimble in her long fingers,
her curves and dashes hold me tight,
locked on, and
terrified, suddenly, of being called on,
of standing up.

She turns, to hear the teacher
(her voice a work of friction)
praising her, almost
in her devotion
to Mary Tweed’s formulary,
eyes tracking curves,
straight lines,
a variable solution, in chalk
and open to interpretation
(within reasonable limits).

Both our minds bent
towards undoing,
>line by line<
her stern logic –
knowing at it’s base,
we’d find a complex knot,
both prime
and primal,
eager for our tugging hands.


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