San Antonio, January, 1993
A mathematician left the convention
focused on 9, the digit that sits
in the billionth decimal place of pi,
ratio of circumference to width
of the yellow circle that parted the clouds
as she strolled down Commerce Street
to the Rio Rio Café for lunch and a beer.
On fire with jalapeños
she went shopping
for a souvenir.
She bought earrings —
red-red plastic peppers
with green stems.
She said, "Hot peppers
are like mathematics —
with strong flavor
that takes over
what they enter."