Let’s say that in this equation, x equals listening.
And y equals the velvet of your hand
on my inner knee. And z equals
a widening gap in the clouds where the blue leaks through.
And then p is the tongue. And q is a road of 379 miles,
and r is the rate of what a song does in an empty room.
I don’t know. What I’m saying is that I’ve been trying
to solve the problem, but the variables
keep changing. And where does dirt come into this?
Where the Brazil nut, the pelican with wings dredged in oil,
the wildfire devouring McKenzie Springs?
My paper is covered in pink eraser rubbings—
breathe, I think. Go slow. I try to remember the rules.
But already x equals independence.
And y equals flaxen light. And z equals
the river, swollen. And u
is my hands in your hair. And f equals
a dial tone. M equals fear. And j equals
the way I sometimes imagine an answer might
appear if I try hard enough. And o is the sound of ripening peaches.
No, o is the spider web in the pane.
No, o is oh, god, I don’t know. And k is the velocity
of a falcon when it falls, falls, falls
and then surges up just before hitting earth.
And b is the room still doused in darkness
before we slowly open the blinds
to reveal twice as much sky
as the equation called for, and so many ravens.
Nothing is ever equal. And already
the formula is not the same as it was
one yes ago, one love ago, one here ago,
one x ago when x equaled morning
and y was a siren and z was slowly dissolving into white.