by Ben Passikoff

Shrined in the well-licked envelopeThe Egg Nebula
were zero divided by zero or by Zeno
and the last number of pi
(it's way out there, but visible
like the speed of light or
the absolute minimest of particles)
These were the truths slick
Fermat knew and wouldn't tell,
along with his gang of Euler, Gauss
and Cantor, maybe Newton, I'm not sure.
The priest appointed and anointed
to keep the envelope in his profoundest
pocket, is Chair of Mathematics at
some college like East Southern Tennessee
Community State U, or words
to that effect.
The proof he guards
with solo soul forbids him family
except the ghosts of Kepler, Copernicus,
and smart-ass Galileo, or perhaps Poincaire.
This info is arcane recorded, will be
loosed when beginning starts again.
Physics and chems and their subliminal mutants
meanwhile make do with what they've got;
scrabble and scribble and digitize
and pomply solemnize their orts
forever so far dimensional their pizzas.

Copyright © 2005, Ben Passikoff

Ben Passikoff is a retired engineer. His poems have appeared in The Quarterly Review of Literature, the Atlanta, Harvard, Sarah Lawrence and Texas Reviews, Literal Latte, Orbis, Pedestal Magazine and a truckload of other journals. His pursuits are poetry and survival.

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Image of the Egg Nebula courtesy of NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)