“Imagination can . . . arrange for parallel lines to meet in secret.” –Shelley Jackson, on Italo Calvino
Once upon a time, there were two parallel lines, and they couldn’t stop looking at one another.
My lord. Such beauty, each thought. Who would have believed, in all the world, that such perfection existed? If only. . . .
And so they went on, each longing.
So close, and yet so far away.
Perhaps, one said, there is a certain purity in this. Holding the line.
F that, said the other.
Yeah, came the reply. F that.
I know, for I ran across them both. I found one shy and acute, the other bold and obtuse. But they were just right for each other.
It’s good, at least, to have you by my side, said one.
Yes, said the other, and sighed. Perhaps we could meet in secret?
No, damn him.
Euclid, the other expostulated.
You contain infinities within infinities, said the first.
You, too, said the other. You are my horizon. Aside from you lies only the abyss.
That is very beautiful, and very true, said the first.
Yes, said the other. It is.
On and on they went like this until, until,
Their longing warped space itself. Or perhaps it was God, taking pity, crumpling space and time.
And they lived happily ever after.
Copyright 2021. All rights reserved. For more poetry by Bob Shepherd (and writing about poets and poetry), go here: https://bobshepherdonline.wordpress.com/category/poetry/