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Tim Lepczyk

The Mathematics of Space

At Twenty-Nine, I Feel Comfortable Enough to Tell You

The Mathematics of Space

Her life – half-finished paintings, a favorite
armchair, thin garbage bags of clothes
fill my apartment and the argument
is it still mine –
my place or plural – ours
a newborn idea pulling together
like the formation of a star
with particles co-mingling in a nebula of furnishings
habits and desire, where atoms collide
and fusion sears our hands

or is it rather like the end
of a dwarf star
after a nova has exploded outward
only to be pulled in
toward the center’s crush, gravity
isolates and stretches us on the brink
of a black-hole where we pause
static, a frozen image
against a backdrop of stars
as the apologies run over the sink
like so many dirty dishes spilling into the sky.

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At Twenty-Nine I Feel Comfortable Enough to Tell You

The edge
of the knife is
sharp as it presses
against the tender
skin of my arm.
It traces lines parallel
to the pain I want
to feel, the pain
I want to erase
these thin red strings
with lies about the cat
scratching deep
a day in the raspberry patch
the thorns snagging every inch
because the truth
is too terrible to tell, or
so it seemed to me as a child
whose father killed
himself and filled
his family with loss
and a desire
to move to
escape into a place
where we remembered
a terminus on the map
that links points A to B
inked in red and
pulsing like capillaries
across the palm
of Michigan
crumb like memories
not to find our way back
but to be eaten
by the birds
their wings so dark
against the sky.


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Tim Lepczyk is a writer and editor currently based in St. Louis, MO.  His main focus is fiction, but occasionally he writes poetry and nonfiction.  A graduate of the University of Nebraska’s creative writing master’s program, Tim has editorial experience working on Prairie Schooner, the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and is an editor for the Code4Lib Journal.  He is the founder and editor of Scintilla magazine and press  For more information visit Tim’s websitefollow him on Twitter, or email him at tim (at) scintillapress (dot) com.

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