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."



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