One and one is two and yet
two is beginning to show the strain
of always being the sum of something.

But your eyes
are your eyes still
And your skin
is soft as the first time
I planted fingers.

But one and one
must feel at times
that two is not the answer they’re looking for.
How do they stick to the truth?
And two, does it ever look back, and wonder...
if it wasn’t for them?
or, must it always be them?

The tree hasn’t changed
from the gouge of our initials.
The lake has been rowed and swum
and feet-dangled
into the lake it’s always been.

But doesn’t one ever wish
that just once
it could subtract the number
it first thought of
So what if the answer is zero.
Two need never know.


Australian born poet, John Grey, has been a US resident since the late seventies. He works as a financial systems analyst. His work has most recently been published in Slant, Briar Cliff Review and Albatross with work upcoming in Poetry East, Cape Rock and REAL.

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