in several of my classes

Warning: early morning induced naiveté below

I started talking to some people last spring because they were in 3 of my classes. We’re now kind of friends.

This semester, those people are Liouville, Hermite, and Lagrange; I’d like to be friends with them too.

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From Vera Pavlova’s If there is something to desire

I’ve been reading some of Vera Pavlova’s poems. This collection, If there is something to desire centers on love, depression, desire, and contradiction.

Tenderly on a tender surface
the best of my lines are written:
with the tip of my tongue on your palate,
on your chest in tiny letters,
on your belly. . .
But, darling, I wrote them
pianissimo!
May I erase with my lips
your exclamation mark?

nonononono Vera, only I can make metaphors as tawdry as that.

Perhaps when our bodies throb and rub
against each other, they produce a sound
inaudible to us but heard up there, in the clouds and higher,
by those who can no longer hear common sounds . . .
Or, maybe, this is how He wants to check by ear: are we still
intact?
No cracks in mortal vessels? And to this end He bangs
men against women?

Clever. I hadn’t thought of that. Now another poem:

A Remedy for Insomnia

Not sheep coming down the hills,
not cracks on the ceiling–
count the ones you loved,
the former tenants of dreams
who would keep you awake,
once meant the world to you,
rocked you in their arms,
those who loved you . . .
You will fall asleep, by dawn, in tears.

Spinner, do not hesitate:
while the kiss is fresh,
snip the two threads
with one swift cut.

A poem is a voice-mail:
the poet has stepped out, most likely
will not be back. Please leave a message
after you hear a gunshot.