by Bruce Meyer
THEIR RELATIONSHIP HADN’T added up yet. That’s what he got for falling in love with another mathematician though love was a combination lock and the only way in was
1. Numbers. Prime numbers, integers. Numbers in long columns. Values inserted in an algebraic equation that could be numbers but could be
2. Heartbeats when she thought he was asleep in her arms but in reality, he was counting her heartbeats, determining the rhythm of the blood coursing through her body, calculating her systolic, the force of blood against her artery walls, and her diastolic pressure between heartbeats when her body was solving a problem about
3. The months they’d been together. Had he rushed into their relationship? Had she not followed him? Was he alone and billeted for a conference in an abandoned hotel?
4. The purpose of delivering a paper to people who didn’t speak English and he grasped why someone wanted to demolish the place because the windows let in the noise from the street where Avenue A intersected with
5. Or at least a street with the number five in it that wasn’t as busy as
6. Which were all the numbers he could remember when he tried to call her. She said his silence hurt but he replied that love was remembering all seven digits and waiting for the final one to come to mind, the elusive
7. The sum of Heaven they needed to work out, the solution to all equations in the dawn.
Bruce Meyer is the author of 68 books of poetry, short stories, flash fiction, and non-fiction. His most recent collections of fiction are Toast Soldiers (2021), The Hours (2021), and Down in the Ground (2020). He lives in Barrie, Ontario.