Some Numbers

 

One becomes two, two becomes three, and out of the third comes the one as the fourth.

— Maria Prophetissa

 

0

I see you gone from where
You never were.
Your absence blossoms,
Present everywhere
As if it were the air.
Nought and ought,
You are the none.
Your all is less
Than even one.
Round and shining
Like the sun
And self-consumed . . .
And you are gone.

 

1

And who are you?
I think I know.
You are the one
One more than none,
From which all comes.
You are the source,
The primal force,
The unseen face —
Of her, of course:
Womb and tomb
And witch and lover.
You: the great
And long-lost mother.

 

2

And now, let’s see . . .
Who can you be?
I ought to know
The likes of you.
You are the one
Who is the two.
You are the father
And the son
And then the tree
The fruit hangs on.
You hang there bloody
For all to see,
Nailed to your tree. . . .

 

3

I look again.
How can this be?
You were just two
And now are three:
A stone, a stream,
A leafless tree —
What was, what is,
And what will be.
What is once was
What was to be.
So all are one
And one is three:
A unitary trinity.

 

4

Each time I look,
I find one more.
I turn around
And there are four. . . .
The right hand, East:
My rising sun.
The left hand, West:
One more day done.
North: sky above,
So far away.
South: earth below,
Where I must stay —
And teach myself
What numbers say.