Discontinuity/ At infinity – a poem by Marian Christie

Discontinuity/ At infinity

When I first learned about asymptotes, I puzzled:
what happens to the graph at infinity?
For there’s no dividing by zero in life,
no abrupt switch from positive almost-infinity
to re-emerge at negative almost-infinity.
Later, I stopped wondering.
I trusted the mathematics
without letting thoughts of life intrude.

But now, in this time of lockdown, I know
what it’s like to be at infinity,
this odd indeterminate state
where all that we hear is birdsong
where the skies are so clear, we can see
the secrets of the universe
where the only touch I feel
is the air on my skin

and who knows
when we re-emerge
at what point on the graph we will be?


Marian Christie was born in Zimbabwe and has lived in Africa, Europe and the Middle East before settling in her current home in southeast England. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in a number of journals, including Allegro Poetry,Amethyst Review, The Beach Hut, Black Bough Poetry and The Ekphrastic Review, and in the anthologies The Stony Thursday Book 2018 and The Bridges 2020 Poetry Anthology.

When not writing or reading poetry, she looks at the stars, puzzles over the laws of physics, listens to birdsong and crochets gifts for her grandchildren. She blogs at www.marianchristiepoetry.net and can be found on Twitter: https://twitter.com/marian_v_o.



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