The God of Numbers


Fluctuations (Water Ripple) by onigiri-kun
“Fluctuations (Water Ripple)” | by onigiri-kun on flickr

“The God of Numbers” by Sharon Rauenzahn
(for Aron Wall)

The God of Numbers drew the first line straight
across the soon-to-be sky,
and called it good.

He pinched it in the middle with his
primary digits, pulled an infinite
circle out of the line.

That was pretty good too.

Soon he had circles all over:
waters above, waters below, great lights
here and there,
dry land where it was needed.

That was good too, but something big was
out under that new horizon.

Leviathan surges, breaking the line,
leaping into the vault of the sky,
scattering water droplets
out of the deep.

There were spheres and splashes,
and music of the spheres,
and music of the splashes,
and it was all very good.

Water falls on water, splashes, ripples,
circling out, crossing circles of circles,
patterning the surface, and the
God of Numbers said:

“Let there be coastlines, and branching streams,
and trees with leaves, and every kind of pattern
that remakes itself”

And he breathed breath into the leaves
and into the streams,
and hummed motion under the land,
and spat out complexity from the deep sea vents,
and he made every living thing that crept and crawled
across the land or flew in that great new sky,
and it all looked good to him.
And the God of Numbers said:

“I’m alone up here, out-under-over-in-through
this new world, with nobody here but me
to count it all up.”

And that was not good,
so the God of Numbers breathed one more time,
making his
best thing yet.

In the image of God he created them,
male and female he created them,
perfectly paired, just what he wanted.
And he said:

“All this is yours. Count it up and make more.”

And the God of Numbers
saw what he had made
and how good it all was
and how much he loved those people he had made,
even when they miscounted,
or broke stuff,
or subtracted him from their own lives,
and he said to them:

“I will do whatever it takes
to balance this equation,
to keep you from being divided
away from me.”

And he stretched out a new line
on an old tree
and took on flesh
and gave it up again,
to make the two one,
just as he said.

For the God of Numbers never stops counting,
and the sum of his counting
includes infinity.

And it was so.

June 13, 2011 (rev. 9/4/2016)


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