He taps his fingertips against his jeans
as if he’s practicing a major scale
or adding numbers up. A kind of Braille
that helps him feel what syllables might mean.
The consonants and vowels dance along,
dividing time and space into new shapes
through which one well-wrought image might escape:
equation and solution in one song.
A mathematician and musician both,
the poet weighs a phrase he overheard,
believing that, more than a string of words,
its rhythm could incant some higher truth.
Not truth, exactly. Beauty. Yes. It’s pleasure
he always wants to take and make and measure.