Friday, April 24, 2009

Dan Kantak Presents "Numbers"


As a child
my kitchen had no walls
and everything ranged
in big bubbling pots of
winter, spring, summer, autumn,
peas, carrots, corncob days
husked, rising to the surface
in the golden bullion

of universal soup.
Numbers. Numbers. Numbers,
numbers were something

I wanted more than anything.
Wanted ten shopping carts

filled with ice cream.
Wanted sixteen cases of orange soda.
Wanted to be eighteen—

then twenty one.
Wanted five girlfriends and

two more for the weekend.
Wanted the power of numbers.
More was magic, majestic, and magnificent.
I never understood the numbers

in my parent's heart.
The endless trying to make

two plus two equal five.
Didn’t know that numbers

could numb and murder the soul.
That the Judas tree of numbers

can have countless limbs
and still give no shade under the finite sun.

Now as a man of numbers
the weight of my ledger
middling in years, thinning of hair
records my loss and my gain and
I realize that love and life are singular.
Now I long for one true thought.
One poem that braves enough to be.
One person whom I can be infinite with.
One is so rare a number.

© 2009 Dan Kantak