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Little Geometry Quiz

If faced squarely,

is this triangle’s third side

on which chatter and lurk your old loves—

the potheads and Grace Kelley dead ringers,

the tall rich sylphs, doctor-players,

mope rockers and philosopher queens—

something I’d see crushed?

If they vanished, would the line become

a newly firm base we viewed

as we flew like a flexible hinge

or carefree bird to wide skies?

Or would we collapse on the instant

like a tent in trouble,

the harem in hindsight the very haven

I’d thought I sought, the smiles that plagued me

the pain that kept the passion going?

I who was once good at math

a hop and a jump from your house

come up short, madly circle the question

but despair of an answer, hoping at least

the fact that a triangle

is percussive but also tuneful

will make the music of the brooding sweeter.

from Silver RosesFind it in the library

Copyright © Persea Books 2010
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.

Published in Poems Rachel Wetzsteon

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