Spring 2008 • Vol. XXX No. 2 PoetryApril 1, 2008 |

Equivalents

Concerning equivalents:            lost amid the Roman catacombs, a priest will halve his candle flame          until one glow doubles and redoubles on the tongues of terra-cotta pots—        a lesson the split earthworm learns, as he stands twice the chance of being split again:        a wise move to reproduce for two worms slither twice as far as one, which explains         why warheads unlock themselves above a cityscape, thus brokering a wider      higher bloom—               their sanguine hues and party stars spread throughout the ether. Are fewer survivors           what this division equals? How does such backward algebraapply to the holy           whose wafers, cracked in eighths, constitute a body, though whole ones add up to crackers? Furthermore, how am I standing here,             

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Derek Mong is the author of two poetry collections from Saturnalia Books, Other Romes and The Identity Thief, as well as a chapbook from Two Sylvias Press, The Ego and the Empiricist. The Byron K. Trippet Assistant Professor of English at Wabash College, he holds degrees from Stanford, the University of Michigan, and Denison University. His work has appeared in the Kenyon Review, Blackbird, Pleiades, and elsewhere. He and his wife, Anne O. Fisher, received the 2018 Cliff Becker Translation Award for The Joyous Science: Selected Poems of Maxim Amelin. He blogs at the Kenyon Review Online.

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“When the Earth Flies into the Sun

By Derek Mong

Concerning equivalents:            lost amid the Roman catacombs, a priest will halve his candle flame          until one glow doubles and redoubles on the tongues of terra-cotta pots—        a lesson the split earthworm […]

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