by Amit Majmudar
i.m. Maryam Mirzakhani
I wonder if she’ll string spidersilk with abacus dewdrops, subtracting drag from thrust. Swaddled in octopus chromatophores, she could toy with wavelengths while she dreamed— bleached-reef white, quantum mottle, ink and honey. The lawn’s scatterplotted dandelions match the doubling rate of stars, memories, exponents, cancer cells. There’s always another number beyond what feels like the end of the sequence, a further prime anchored in one of infinity’s leeward coves. Tehran might welcome to the balcony this bulbul who will fold her wings in half eight times. Her life was an integer that came before the first prime number, a single logarithm pulsing for a single song.
The day before and the day after the funeral expressed the empty set with brackets around a blank, bookends on a stripped shelf. Maybe she’s already back, rediscovering the calculus of her body with a muscular velocity of paw. In this, her half life, she only covered half the chalkboard with the numbers that spelled, indelibly, her name. Though I’ll never pull my chair close and watch her finish the sequence, maybe one day, my wonder at the wonder of her squared, I’ll meet her by chance in the woods and recognize her hundred green hands by the dreamcatcher leaf veins fractalling out from her wrists.
Amit Majmudar is a widely published poet, novelist, essayist, and translator. His latest collection is What He Did in Solitary (Knopf, 2020). He is a diagnostic radiologist and the former first Poet Laurate of Ohio.