A Line

Here’s a conundrum:
a point lacks dimension,
yet two points,
each ambit-free,
rubbing against each other,
cuddling for warmth,
not superimposed,
those form a line
and that line has length—
­no breadth or height,
width or depth—
starting at one point,
ending at the other,
and with the definition
of that line,
a dimension exists,
yet only one.

Aside from length,
the line owns
no other space;
it is not
a thin slip of tape
reeling off a roll;
admired from its side,
it presents no wall,
no impediment to a
submicroscopic man on a
determined orthogonal path
straight at the line’s true course;
it is not a skinny cylinder,
a nanotube between two
pointillistic plugs popped in each end;
these faint possibilities
possess dimensions
far beyond the
slight simplicity
of the line
drawn however briefly
in your mind’s eye
between two points,
neither occupying
anything at all.

We imagine a line
flat or erect or
extending into an
imaginary plane and
away from us
towards other places,
other worlds beyond,
or maybe at a tilt
signifying a trend,
an implication of movement
up or down, in or out,
but a line
lies between
two imaginary space-free
specks anywhere in the vastness
of all-space, all-time
demarcating not just what
lies on this side
or the other
but up and down and around it
a cylinder of possibilities
which itself reaches out
beyond the walls of
anything we will ever see
or know.



The Point


Is a point as huge as a period—
an ocean of carbon particles mashed into
the warp and weft of cellulose,
crannies, abysses of space separating
their dark, emphatic engagement with paper—
or is a point briefer than a
Planck length, light stopped
before it starts a path through a perfect vacuum?

Why do we concern ourselves with such things
(and by “we,” I mean “I,” unless you too are afflicted)?
Because it is important to ask questions
while remaining skeptical, quizzical
when we get answers back,
an irresolvable game of table tennis
our two selves helming each end
of a curvilinear surface occupying nothing,
while we each give the thing
shuttling between us a good smash
with a paddle of no size or substance,
back and forth, on and on and on…


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