Benoit See the Shapes

by Margaret Randall

A quiet moment, yet we still marvel at its elegance.
Amused, Euclid laments no longer possessing
the breath to em it a joyous gasp.
He recognizes his smooth cones and spheres
have grown rough edges,
dance into ever smaller fingers reaching for the promised land.

Benoit Mandelbrot remembers the moment that changed his life
and ours.  I saw how the shapes came together, he says,
(emphasis on saw ), knows our language of words
cannot describe that other language only he can trace
until he shows us clouds and leaves,
shorelines and sand dunes chewed by wind and rain.

I love you, you tell me and no limit stalks our reckoning
as our fingers trace a line
between flesh and knowledge,
cellular memory and this field
where we are both here and everywhere,
ancient patterns rising on our skin.

To glimpse, see, then be able to teach draws wonder
from the heart while images of dying children
capture a single news cycle
and weapon-grade anything refuses to go down
in the history books as progress, only a sad detour
hastening our journey to a place of no return.

I want to trust Benoit’s magical moment, Euclid’s sanity,
Frida’s double helix as I take your fingers into my heart
and hold them against our age.
I want to forget the contest itself leads to oblivion
and end this poem in hope
even as the evidence tries to stare me down.