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Learning Geometry: Looking Again

Take a picture of someone you know
Or even of yourself and
Fold the picture in half
And hold a mirror along the
Line of the center crease.

Divide the face in half
Then multiply each half by itself.

I once saw this done
With an image of Richard Nixon –
1972, on the cover of Newsweek
A country as split
As the psyche of the man
Who led us.

Two right sides of his face
Comprise a cheerful, pleasant man-
Full faced, with upturned lips
Almost smiling with a confident
Warm gleam in his eyes.

Ah but the left,
Put those sides together and
There he is
Tricky Dick with a sinister face
A wary line of a mouth
And small uneasy eyes.

I want to see your face
In pieces.

I want to measure
The slope of your chin
The angle of your cheekbones
The square root of your mouth.

We are all made up of numbers
Dots to be connected and formed
Into lines on a graph;
Calculus and geometry.

The hypotenuse of your profile
Equals the sum of the distance
Between the bottom of your lips and
The length of your nose.

A squared plus B squared
Equals your face

Divided by two

Multiplied by itself.

Marsha Pincus is a post-mid life woman, riding the Age Wave and writing for her life.

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