Wastelands of Numbers

Wastelands of Numbers

I hope today that you count kisses instead of calories.

“Numbers surrounded us.
when we closed the door
at night, exhausted,
slipped beneath the door
and crept with us into bed,
and in our dreams
pounded at our foreheads
until they sank into the sea or madness
until the sun greeted us with its zero
and we went running
to begin again the infinite
1 of each new day.

We had time
to give things a number,
to add them up,
to reduce them
to powder,
wastelands of numbers.
We papered the world
with numbers
but things survived,
they fled from numbers,
went mad in their quantities,
evaporated,
leaving the numbers empty.

For you
I want things
Let numbers go to jail,
let them march
in perfect columns
until they give the sum
total of infinity.

Oh, the thirst to know
how many!
The hunger
to know
how many
stars in the sky!

We counted
colours, years,
lives, and kisses;”

Excerpts from ‘Ode To Numbers’ by Pablo Neruda

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2 thoughts on “Wastelands of Numbers

  1. What a wonderful poem. Thank you for sharing it!

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