By Brenda Cardenas

“I don’t know what to tell you.
Your daughter doesn’t understand
math. Numbers trouble her, leave
her stuck on ground zero.”

And it was the Mayans
who imagined the zero,
a sign for nothing, for everything,
in his great calculations.

Is zero the velvet swoop into dream,
the loop into plumes of our breath?

“I suggest you encourage languages.
Already she knows a little Spanish,
and you can teach her more of that.
She lives for story time.”

In the beginning there was nothing.
Then the green of quetzal wings.

The stories keep changing
its invigorated truths
with each narration
as X x X = X 2

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