Neil Aitken


A calculus of moving bodies,
we circle, move, oscillate;
our hands and feet
dividing space,
integrating over time.

Think of differentiation:
the separation of variables,
bodies in motion, bodies at rest,
and the hair slick with sweat.
Clothes pressed tight as skin.

At the end, the elastic collisions:
the energy returned
as we depart at rates
inversely proportional
to our size.



One night I found myself thinking that the language of Newtonian physics can be strangely beautiful when removed from the world of science. This poem began as experiment in returning the science and mathematical terms to a non-scientific context.