Da I Numeri (He Gives Numbers): The Proposal
Susan H. Case

Like asylum inmates in Naples shouting out numbers
for lottery buyers to bet. The two of us, you say again,
with me unsure which one of us is bedbug crazy enough
to need a key to what you mean by two. Superstition.
Fourteen is particularly good—means fishing.
Solve your urgent problems today! A scandal.
Two could be a number generated by a lunatic. Or lead to
one home, a couple of dogs, a trinity ring for nineteen years.
One is the ocean.
Three means the moon.
Sixteenth century Italy, tickets used to pick senators,
match dowries to indigent brides.
I have no vision of a winning combination.
Cross my fingers, enter the play.

Return to Archive