For DS, Spring 2011.

When mathematics was still just a spectator sport,
I remember sitting on the sidelines in wooden desks with you
permuting popcorn between our tongues from an endless bag
whose cardinality didnt quite matter yet.
I remember postulating the existence of
Cupid’s category theory arrow
piercing your world, uniquely, into mine.

How did I wind up on the other side of the grand forum
the double-buffered chalkboards and swivel chairs
the erasers wide enough to forget any inconvenient truth?
What led me away from the old examples scribbled
excitedly over sweaty, dead skin cells
with ink from the previous Tuesday’s art lesson?
a new love for abstractions carried me high through the clouds
to a tower furnished for one.

the nights I spent watching you dance
clad in LaTeX
proving everything that would matter to me.
when you were still my dual,
and I undid your rotations
we swayed around in symmetry
dancing to the canonical pulse,
verifying our identity.

but the Gödel constricting your breaths
made you uneasy,
and it turns out that serving the dusty overlords
of mathematics you can no longer visualize
would partition our equivalence classes further.
maybe we were not transitive, but transitory.
you began to circle like a vulture
until all that was left was a winding number
and a broken pocket watch.
the paradox wasn’t that our entanglement had always been a lie
but that we were just doomed to misconvey the truth.
the cereal box ring I had slipped over your finger
began to lose its cyclic congruency
for nobody had told me a ring given to a girl
should be in its prime.

you decided linear independence was possible without me,
that spanning this vector space would entail
a bit too much of exhibiting isomorphism
and throwing down the pen in triumph.
but when my thoughts started to all lead to the same place,
my actions stopped covering you with the security you needed.
and now it turns out
i have to be in someones orbit to really feel like i’m moving at all.

the eulerian circuits i once sketched through your skin
became more tangled, less planar
as we kept making more and more odd choices
each damned graph reflecting the other.

sometimes i still remember that memories are a finite set
and i let skyscrapers drip from the cloud
and run my finger over the familiar diagonal
tracing the things that still havent changed.
but then the dried scrolls of dusty pirate maps
pullback me to reality
and I realize that no rearrangement of my arms around you
will ever quite fit again.

“it was like a series of fallacies”
you said, in retrospect.
your affections spread like a Poisson distribution
the vial just happening to slip over my tongue
every time.

as we approached the divergence,
i said “this is my apocalypse.
i have to jump off the Dirac Delta,
and you have to show me where to land.”
but you just slipped into the nullspace.

so love for people, and solitude for math, isn’t it all the same
…up to renaming?