Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Cynthia Arrieu-King

Prime Numbers

I loved that they were indivisible.
Unlike brothers. Unlike bodies.

The white horizon flat with elements
standing arms akimbo, daring to be split.

But more and more in looking at
their curves, every week I was being divided,

sent to one side of a white fence, re-arranged.
In the end, little accounted for the idea of them.

Why did prime numbers come when they did?
How could one amount of beans, or pins,

be a permanent army, all of them so easily
grouped with one captain, Number One.

Pliers could clip, or a knife split things.
But oh, putative kingship. Was there

any limit to their wide yards, bordered
by stones? I wished we could go there.


Gripped in crevasses, under blue disguises
the mountaineers all shrink like ants.

They sprinkle, black pepper across white.
Back home they argue the person who drew the mountain

ringed by stars, tacked to movies, was drawing out a figment.
An argument went that it came from a mind.

Or that it was Mount Madeup from the Bogus Range.
And one person said, actually it's Artisonraju.

There was a free element of wanting to be
correct, lapsing like time. Another person claimed

it was an image of his mountain in Switzerland, distorted.
Another person claimed it's the east face of Artisonraju,

without proof. An endless line of crampon marks claiming
it was a memory, no it's Mount Ben Lomond, no I

climbed where the sun throws rays down hard, no
the mind's a white negligee frozen over everything.

No pigment ferments. A conglomeration of Utah
and mind enlarging the chance of not needing

actual earth. "A horse" sounds green to the blunt
intention of the actual. Artisonraju. Congruent to what?

Cynthia Arrieu-King is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Cincinnati and an echocardiographer. Her chapbook The Small Anything City won the Dream Horse Press National Chapbook Contest in 2006. Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Diagram, Pilot Poetry, Hotel Amerika, Forklift Ohio, etc.