Sampurna Chattarji: Reading poems about math: II

Two voices are needed, two bodies in the same room.
Both must be dramatic, foldable at the arms and knees,
like puppets or continents. Both must beware.
Words are collapsible, like chairs,
and the children will always laugh loudest.
Are little girls serpents, since both eat eggs?
Put that in your pipe, caterpillar, and smoke it.
Dividing a loaf with a knife, taking a dog from a bone,
this game is good, and will last for as long as
the two bodies stay, dramatic, absurd and brazen,
orchestral and exposed, as long as the two voices
carry the weight of needing to be understood,
as long as the room fills up with the irreversible
proof of eyes that never leave their faces
as they enact their comedy of decipherment.

Sampurna Chattarji

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