love on the windswept Cartesian plane
Forth from the intersecting origin
each number is newly born
and ages as it goes
this is the realm of the rich
and the shallow, an empty quadrant
where they think they exist
but to imagine you and all you love
can be positive pushes you out of
the plane, into imaginary numbers.
— 2 and 4.
If negative multiplies with positive
their creation is incomplete
a kind of un-being
negative numbers have empty hearts,
must reach out to others alike
else we are bound to fall
into shadow quadrants that measure
loss like childhood fears, doubts
trapped in closets
While hopes lie hidden in the un-space
behind mirrors and old bookshelves
waiting for backwards and down
to see all the others are empty like them
then (and only) creation is positive
and all finally find balance.
Erik Richardson lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with his family and assorted pets. In addition to teaching, he attends grad school in psychology, coaches several award-winning robotics teams, and runs a small communications firm. He is a three-time winner of the Gahagan Prize at the world’s largest Irish festival, in Milwaukee, received honorable mention for the Hixson Award, and is a regular contributor to Centrifugal Eye. His work has appeared in Nerve Cowboy, Verse Wisconsin, and Chiron Review, among others.