by John Olson

       The world revolves by revolution.
       The horizon lures us.
       Because it is always moving, always changing. Even the highway under my shoes is never the same. You cannot step in the same river twice. And the same goes for highways.
       The asphalt cracks. Bends. Blisters. Bloats.
       Everyone has gone away. The town is nearly empty. Curtains hang in the windows like ghosts. Inscrutable. Like mathematics scribbled on a blackboard. The formula for primes.
       It is known that no non-constant polynomial function P(n) with integer coefficients exists that evaluates to a prime number for all integers n. The proof is: suppose such a polynomial existed.
       Suppose a bowl of mushroom soup.
       A table and a chair.
       A woman arguing against the uselessness of war.
       A bomb ticking in a man's groin.
       It feels cold.
       Propelled or squeezed, duty is a misnomer. Duty is not quantifiable like circumference and pi.
       The proof is: would you do that?
       Raise a flag. Shoot a gun. Kill a man. Kill a woman. Kick in a door. Terrorize a group of children.
       So would you?
       Would you do that?
       This means nothing.
       Without a beating heart.
       The meanings are manufactured in your mouth. You might need a map. But the decisions are yours. The responses are yours. A language is not the same thing as a rake.
       There is enthusiasm for neon. And so we walk into the city. And find Cubism in a warm room. Fire at the end of the prongs. A block of ice. Melting. Candy for the mind. An oasis of culture.
       Seeing, they say, is believing.
       But most beliefs are blind.
       Is there an afterlife? The proof is clear.
       The chuckle of water at the end of a pier.