The Mathematics of Love

By on Apr 2, 2023 in Poetry

Nautilus shell

0+1, 1+1, 1+2, ad infinitum.
5 is where my understanding fades. Ah, Fibonacci,
I wear sequins when I try to make sense
of your sequences; nautilus shells and horny rabbits.

Mona Lisa and the recipe for Mr. Coffee—
1-2 tablespoons of Bustelo for every 6 ounces of water
are based on your formulae. When I eat spanakopita at the Nautilus
Diner, I devour your golden triangle.

You would think my favorite number would be 55,
but it is 69, the number my sister and I shouted
at the dinner table even before we knew what it meant.

I don’t think our parents ever got it
or did it, I never did it, maybe half of it
nothing reciprocal.

My sister’s favorite number is zero
most of her friends are mathematicians
she asks the hard questions of zero:

Why is anything to the zero power, 1?
Why is zero over zero undefined?

I love your numbers, come on
Fibby walk along the beach with me
roll up your cuffs, gift me with shells,

count my hard ridges. You make my heart do algorithms
I grab your ass, a divine proportion.


Vicki Iorio is the author of the poetry collections Poems from the Dirty Couch, Local Gems Press, Not Sorry(Alien Buddha Press) and the chapbooks Send Me a Letter (dancinggirlpress) and Something Fishy, Finishing Line Press. Her poetry has appeared in numerous print and on-line journals including The Painted Bride Quarterly, Rattle, poets respond on line, The Fem Lit Magazine, and The American Journal of Poetry. Vicki is currently living in Florida, but her heart is in New York.