Hold the Lamp
I often wish I were a scientist.
But the place where math should be
in my brain is like a fallen roof
and walls shattered by a war
long past and seldom mentioned, but whose ruins
are never cleared away.
I’ve tried to make up for this weakness
by erecting a statue called Precision
and an oppressive state to match.
My police are always on the lookout
for dissidents whose unfeasible programs are,
on the right, feeling; on the left, correctness.
Poets at readings and parties often
avoid your eyes and mumble
to indicate immense spiritual power.
Scientists I’ve met at parties also
mumble, but smile. They do this
to apologize for power and are charming.