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The Human Mind Did Not Create the Ice


ISSUE:  Fall 2012

Nor its manifold mirages, billows and mountains
And mislaid islands shifting by the minute, which nonetheless

Do exist—as image, not as body
The way the ice is body, until it melts. Mathematics

Did not create refraction, only how we account for it,
Its sly angles and inferences and wild confabulations,

Its continuous slips of the tongue. Mathematics: did it
Exist before we made it? John Burgess said,

“As far as I’m concerned, the stars can’t be
Socially constructed.” Stars mean stars

Are reconstructed, twinklings
Created by distortion, light traveling through

Vast improbabilities, through the lenses of our telescopes
Upturned and of our eyes, to be cast away at last upon

The retinas of eye then brain. Is it a violence, this
Intrusion? Clusters of cells shuttling the image

Deep, all the way to the eye we always felt
Inside. Now, we know it’s not only there

But real, looking inward as we do with scanners
And microscopes, instruments we assembled just for this.

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