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Issue 3.3

Fall 2023

Katharine Rauk


This is a poem about math. At some point, there are no answers to look up in the back of

the book.

Distance Learning

Use your own body to measure

end over end over end


something in your living space.

For example, how many hands


can cross a kitchen table?

Twenty-three times my son’s hand


equals the empty table.

This is submitted to the cloud


where his teacher may or may not be

checking to see if he’s there.


We learn Things that are

equal to the same thing


are equal to each other.

Fog over the lake is equal


to my 79-year-old father

jogging in the cemetery every morning


during the pandemic. Spring is

equal to being born again


in the poisoned air. Mama—I am

so sad my son rarely calls out for me


like this anymore. The rain

is equal to I can’t count


how many days spent

looking out the window through blinds


towards George Floyd Square.

The laws of nature are but


the mathematical thoughts of God

said Euclid. What is a law


of nature? It doesn’t add up,

my son says, how you think


it should all turn out and how

it does. How do I measure


my son growing into what

kind of a man?

Katharine's Book Recommendations

Deluge, Leila Chatti

The Lamp with Wings, M.A. Vizsolyi

Book of Hours, Kevin Young

Katharine Rauk is the author of Buried Choirs (Tinderbox Editions) and the chapbook Basil (Black Lawrence Press). She teaches at North Hennepin Community College in Minnesota.

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