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Goat Mathematics. by Nick Alti

I’m horrified of myself. To even open this window is an incalculable risk, considering the mice.
            How they desire escape.
When the rodents disappear what will interrupt this silence? God? Myself with

an armory of apologies?
         Put on me that
white robe divine & forlorn
I’ll crush open the window.

            Notice all this night,
how when examined intensely enough every glimmering star is a cosmic anus
people decide to pray to.

Near the moon, a molecule
bereaved & expanding
(& alone as it is)
considers deeply the concept of empathy
if only for myself                    alone, as it is.

Someone set on fire five white goats in the farm on the outskirt of town,
            these little bleating pyres sacrifices to a new trendy devil.
I’m content with the classical evils; no need to oversaturate that market.
The shape smoke takes rising from their bodies—see how geometry
is vapid bullshit: I’m the shape of myself
& how artists
are vapid bullshitters: I’m the shape of an equation to find
another hand that fits exactly mine.

With this window open & my silence the virus of acedia,
            all them dead goats &
from me there is only a trembling exhale, like a soldier who took aim but could not.


Nick Alti is a fancy bartender at a fancy bar in Holland, MI. Recent publications include KAIROS, Pretty Owl Poetry, and Newfound. He shares his writing and other whims on his Instagram—brandnewbongwater—where he wants you to give him music, book, and movie recommendations via direct message which he might like based off his username. Do this now. He is bored.