Numbers have captured me
countless times: following
their rhythm synchronizes
the space between breaths;
unfolding their patterns
provides proof of
nature's spiraling grace; even
counting, simplest of all, lets
children collect handfuls of
vanishing stars
in the endless night
sky, placing each one in
an inventory along with
a few frogs in a pail and
a fist full of dandelions.

But take precious care
playing with numbers,
lest they begin to obscure
more than they disclose
—the diamond glint of
this evening's brightest star,
or that delicate daisy tucked
behind your daughter's ear.
And resist chasing them
towards their conclusion,
of which there is
no conclusion—only
the illusion that an end
exists—some inert nowhere
after all the stars and flowers
have been harvested.

Instead, let them fade
into a drum beat
pulsing steadily behind our
shimmering world
—always just beyond
your lips, just beyond
concepts, painfully near
the flowers and stars
in this countless and
everlasting moment.