… my mind obsesses, knowing no one innocent. Wherever I look, out of the sultry, yearning waves, 24 like a Venus rises. Let my adoration become a hymn. In her, the sensual source of all my desiring. My hormones have set sail toward a long sought treasure crying: “Thar she blows!” My senses are on fire. I can’t ignore her. I first encountered her, covered in ink, flirting with fractions on a page. God, I swear she had nothing on underneath!

Through my numbered wilderness I wander, dreaming of the sensual abstraction I want above all else, questioning my salty, passionate yearning. At my back, fertile stands of cedar, myrtle, fir and oak, ancient groves of primal numbers, pagan in their intensity. Homer would have known this place. And Pythagoras. Who can say what Paris thought as he breathed in the color of Helen’s terrible, lovely eyes and in that dreaming touched the profound center of his own destruction; the death of all things rational. A cellular fire burns up the sacred seconds of our experience, like a sculptor it begins with too much clay. In the wash of my secret fantasies, I wallow.

Why are we made so strongly physical but to celebrate the sexual in ourselves? In my tortured forest, each fertile thought becomes a number. Each imagined number, a vessel with which to multiply. When numbers speak, my earth shakes and I’m thrown into an emotional pitch where the miraculous explodes as I exhale. I dreamed of God’s face. He came to me in the shape of a number. In the garden of our souls a cold corruption grows. It is the lost child’s animal cry of surrender as we move deeper into the truth of ourselves, realizing our strength is no strength, but a force of movement keeping us afloat as we swim, dance and flail:

Moving from moment to moment,

we are what we must be.

Deep in our own imperfection we come

at last

to realize,

ours is a will too fragile for eternity.

Oh, but to share these thoughts with 24, naked in my bed!