New Math

Out of the place I knew,
I feel into another
world in which I merged with my beloved,

into a world where one and one make two
but two so closely intertwined
they seem more like a single entity –

not he and I, not you and me, but we.
And so we changed, and so we still are growing:
one to two but also two to three.

I’m no mathematician.
But can I make you see
the process?  Portal opens into portal,

vista into vista, limitless,
infinitely generous addition.
The full cup keeps on filling.

There’s no subtraction.
There is only giving.
One is drawn to one so that makes two;

two intertwine so that makes one again.
But also something new
grows from me and you –

startling emergence, a fresh entity.
One, then two, then one again, then three,
a brand-new being born to you and me.

Rachel Hadas’s new book, QUESTIONS IN THE VESTIBULE, was published by Northwestern University Press in April 2016. A poem in that book, “Roosevelt Hospital Blues,” was shortlisted for the Forward (UK) Poetry Foundation’s Best Poem Prize.  She is at work on verse translations of Euripides’  two Iphigenia plays, also for Northwestern.

Issue #66 January 2017
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