Partridge Boswell

The NewMath and Nor Easter
December 18, 2020 Boswell Partridge

The New Math


There may still be time to find the cosine of x. Under an à la mode
mountain of leases and loans, didn’t I taste the square root of π’s
flaky crust? Didn’t I just use the fundamental theorem to calculate


a grocery bill and traffic antiderivatives to prove I’d never plagiarize
your amorous mood? Witting or otherwise, I suspect the algorithm
predicting how hard my heart can love you hasn’t yet been educed,


likewise how fast your flight from Cincinnati will get to this bedroom
travelling at y miles per second, given a hypothetical jet small enough
to land neatly between dresser and bed. I usually just Google-map it.


I have plenty of word problems without integrating integers. Sure as
Heisenberg, I admire the imperfect geometry of our home—floating
on the welter of a flood we saw coming through Hubble’s backward-


facing scope—though I forget the exact cubits or to show my work.
Counting helps with sheep and contractions, to get us through contra-
diction’s rough patches. And who can resist the cold comfort in: Numbers


never lie, only people do? I study the logarithmic swoop of your nape,
forgoing googol candles on the cake. Maybe it’s not too late
to disentangle imaginary roots of polynomials and transcendentals,


sled curved slopes of snow and reckon pebbles on the beach. It won’t
nonplus or minus me if our world’s a grain of sand… infinitesimal
as you and me, one day supine on another shore where despite our best


calculations there is no variable why and time no longer counts or
applies as a function of fear to ignore what’s here. A shore where
there is no sine that warns Swim at Your Own Risk


only the tangent when, after a life of coming infinitely close,
we touch.





Nor Easter


Do you know how her surgery went?
What surgery? She was supposed to have
a horse nebula removed from her head.


There’s that bright red bird again.
You know what they say about cardinals…
if you see one, that means a loved one has passed.


I could play the fiddle all day long.
Why don’t you?
Might as well, naught else to craic.


…Seeds you bring me this Sunday morning
in a month of Sunday mornings. They say it’s
Easter, but obviously no bunny. Too Pythonesque—


all those fierce jellybeans and colored eggs
and resurrection still over a month away
according to the Taoiseach’s latest proclamation—


best the rabbit stay hid in his cave
and we in ours till the gyre resets
& fret dissipates. You plant lilies in me—


superstition and odorless love tinged with
fear bordering on laughter. If those slow
thighs could maybe speed the beast,


those indignant desert birds stop
troubling my sight for just one day.
The falcon hasn’t heard the falconer


in a long ass time. I’d give anything,
my favorite song, for some of that fake
grass to remind me how we used to be.

Partridge Boswell is the author of Some Far Country (Grolier Poetry). His poems and essays have recently surfaced in Poetry, The Gettysburg Review, Salmagundi, The American Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review, december, Plume, Southword, Hotel Amerika, Prairie Schooner and The Moth. Co-founder of Bookstock Literary Festival, he troubadours widely with the poetry/music group Los Lorcas, whose debut release Last Night in America (2020) is available on Thunder Ridge Records.