Once control is lost, the curve
Deteriorates, asymptotically approaches
The zero, accelerates infinitely—

Harmony is lost. The fatal swerve
Once connected, once reeling from the blow
Of events, the moments pass too quickly—

Loss, loss. At last, the nerves
Fail, the skull shrinks, the eyes grow
Too large, the nose loses definition

And the blood slows—the days now years.
At last, the heartbeat is too long,
The eyeflick, at last, an eternity.

This is the death longed for
By mathematicians. Imagine old
Einstein singing in rhymed tercets—

His eyes closed, lost in his chair,
Two silver balls held still and only
The field, the mathematical unity

Of a starbent and whistling universe
Moving, dancing in his hair grown
White and wild, dancing in the rhythm

Of his voice, the song more sure
With every heartbeat. The far, cold
Galaxies dance and swirl to bright infinity.


  (published, with the title "No Dance Lasts All Night," in The Louisville Review #4, Spring 1978)


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