N Is Its Child
If darkness produces all, from where do we obtain nothing?
As a line becomes the circle, becomes a mouth, becomes identity.
In mathematics, n signifies indefinite; in English, negation.
The no, the non, the withdrawal, the taking away.
A heart with trachea represented zero in Egyptian hieroglyphs.
My mouth forms the void through the displaced word.
Conforming to the absent, the missing tongue serves soundlessness.
Aural reduction, the infinite unclenched: n plus n.
Shiva, creator and destroyer, defines nothingness. As do you.
One and one is two, but zero and zero is stasis.
Pythagoreans believed that all is number, and numbers possess shape.
The letter N evolved from a cobra to its present form.
One may double anything but zero.
Unspoken thought, disorder. The attenuated voice swallowing itself.
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“N Is Its Child” was first published in Issue 4 of Reservoir. I am grateful to editor Caitlin Neely for accepting this piece.