John Bricuth
for Harry and Claudia
We are sitting here at dinner talking big.
I am between the two dullest men in the world
Across from the fattest woman I ever met.
We are talking big. Someone has just remarked
That energy equals the speed of light squared.
We nod, feeling that that is "pretty nearly correct."
I remark that the square on the hypotenuse can more
Than equal the squares on the two sides. The squares
On the two sides object. The hypotenuse over the way
Is gobbling the grits. We are talking big. The door
Opens suddenly revealing a vista that stretches
To infinity. Parenthetically, someone remarks
That a body always displaces its own weight.
I note at the end of the gallery stands a man
In a bowler and a black coat with an apple where
His head should be, with his back to me, and it is me.
I clear my throat and re (parenthetically) mark
That a body always falls of its own weight.
"whoosh-WHOOM!" Sighs the hypotenuse across,
And (godknows) she means it with all her heart.

--- From Words Burnished by Music
©2004, Johns Hopkins
University Press

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