Recollections and Mathematics

In this memory, now a dream, I walk
Closer, breaking the boards of the porch
With my own nervousness approaching
A head, mostly white, with a few desperate
Strands of red clinging on the base,
My hair is now like his once was, a fiery ball
A meteor sitting atop a neck and flaming out
To singe the sight of old ladies passing by.

The old man nods to himself, the work is done,
All numbers have ceased and the sum
Hangs in front of him, I do not dare to walk
Out between the observer and his vision
So still I come from behind, the porch giving way
But muffled by my mother’s call and cry,
I touch grandfather on his shoulder and I see in his eyes
Negative signs drawn between the dim spaces
Where his lids refuse to meet, he cries and I hold him,
My hands now big enough to catch the head
That is rolling about on the porch.

Ben Nardolilli is a twenty-five-year-old writer currently living in Arlington, Virginia. His work has appeared in Perigee Magazine, Red Fez, One Ghana One Voice, Caper Literary Journal, Quail Bell Magazineelimae, Super Arrow, Grey Sparrow Journal, A Hudson View, The ToucanContemporary American Voices, Eudaimonia Poetry Review, Rabbit Catastrophe Review, Gloom Cupboard, and Beltway Poetry Quarterly. In addition he maintains a blog at htt:// and is looking to publish his first novel.

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