Matthew Minicucci


For her, the garden as a special function of many complex variables. Potential temperatures. Population mutation rates. Dirt tracked into the threshold of this antechamber or that. Anger as an ordinal number: how many times have I fucking said this house is a collapsing function. I know. There just wasn’t enough water for the trestled cucumbers; summer hanging on in its slack and dimensionless heat.

You ask when the arguments began to tend towards the space between this particular value and infinity and to this, I have no response. Once, we performed simpler functions within our asymptotic algorithms: testing limits; closeness to the line as an arbitrary aspect of my twin bed, value in each angle squared.

Perhaps we just end the story because we must, without proof, only inference of affection; the likelihood of sex within the parameters of any incomplete model: wounded; bound by nothing more than what was once a skylight with all its gentle and genitive light. The almost archaic form your mouth made when you used to swallow the sky.


Lately, distance travelled; a lone observer and the long, gray age of the universe. There is a maximum space between you and the bedside lamp, unlit. For every particle and particular light, Y is true. Y could be some boundary, undefined, between the canoed curves in the bed; unobservable regions; space as entirely conformal: all the angles right; all these distances distorted.

Leaving, you argued the value of a neutral axis: how there must, mathematically, be a place where no strain exists. Another day, it seems, another bright star. Electrons per photon; amps per watt. The kindness of thermodynamics: how each system is a state; each state only one in a cycle; each cycle returning finally to an initial condition. Or some such nonsense.

I’m sure I wasn’t listening, lost in elasticity; response observed in one variable as defined by the change in another. Gradient decrease in the inevitable passing of this to that. Sometimes each set seen only in adjunction: spoken word on the non-essential attribute of a thing. How the lamp still sits there; how it hasn’t worked for days.

Matthew Minicucci is the author of Translation (Kent State University Press, 2015), chosen by Jane Hirshfield for the 2014 Wick Poetry Prize. His work has also appeared in or is forthcoming from numerous journals and anthologies, including Best New Poets 2014, Blackbird, Gettysburg Review, Massachusetts Review, The Southern Review, and Third Coast, among others. He currently teaches writing at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.