The Chimaera: Issue 4, September 2008

«Title Page

Antonia Clark

Everyday Arithmetic

I have finally figured out how you do your math —
numbers scribbled on the backs of envelopes, paper
bags. Your balance sheet of insinuations, grievances
totted up like daily expenses. You square X and Y, divide
one lie by another and pretend it comes out even.

I am your problem to solve. Each night, you whisper
the same formulas against my neck, your fingers busy,
tracing equations, pressing upon me your need to know,
to master, to make me yield up one right answer.

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We trace the ways of love, over high mountains
into strange terrain, palms smoothing the creases
of the flat earth, skirting its dangerous borders.

In a landscape of twisting rivers, pale lakes shaped
like mythical beasts, mysterious faces, a flung net
of starred cities where roads converge, connect,

we draw imaginary lines and try to find the places
where they intersect.

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Antonia Clark works for a medical software company in Burlington, Vermont, and is co-administrator of an online poetry forum, The Waters. Her poems have appeared in Loch Raven Review, Mannequin Envy, The Pedestal Magazine, Rattle, The 2River View, and elsewhere. She loves French food and wine, and plays French café music on a sparkly purple accordion.
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