by Tim Suermondt

“A red garter for Tubingen,”
Albert Einstein says

as he winds up the mechanical bird,
ignoring Unified Field Theory talk

like fame for another day.
The bird rattles out the open door,

its suction cupped feet
making their way onto the street,

past the white houses,
the magnolia and the dogwood,

down the incline, down Spruce
where a woman new in town

but an old lover of mathematics
brushes her boy’s blond hair

and helps him button his coat—
the winter has come early

and the heavens are forever.

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