Bill Trub's "Underpoem"
At the turn of the century, you loved me, my poetics,
the way my tongue could twist out a pretty rhyme
and how it licked you.
Lately I hear you’ve been falling for mathematics,
and how the systematic grunt work of matrices
really gets you hot.
I’ve been writing in the same buttery language
that whispered to the visceral you
like a delicate underpoem.
He communicates in geometrics and proofs;
to him you two are parallel lines,
but to me we are a couplet.
You toss up radical signs like hurdles
but I leap over, long-legged,
looking for the square root
of this diseased weed
beneath my pretty please,
your thanks but no thanks.
So I’ll let you and math get back to your calculations,
but when you’re bored of scratch work,
remember us rolling on the floor, me on top,
slipping you a metaphor.