“Violin Scroll,” acrylic on gessoboard, by Brian Ray Cameron, 2011. Used with permission.

by Andrew McCall

My father does not believe
That the small things accrete,
That the infinitesimals
Lean together to form a whole.
To him, Zeno was right to worry
and Calculus merely makes
Tiny boxes that do not meet
The line of the curve on the paper.
He wants me to admit
That we cannot reach the circle’s
Edge or find the exact
Angle that opens between us.

Of course, I argue with him,
Because we do reach that line
And the arrow does hit the deer.
My belief in another father
Is extinct through increments—
The random shot that kills today,
And the dried-up whales
Beached on the bar tomorrow.
A child slapped on the bus,
And my mother’s unseeing night.
I have touched the hard end,
I have reached the sum of days.

omega man

Andrew McCall’s work has appeared in Blood Lotus, The New Mexico Poetry Review, Nibble, and 2River View. He teaches biology and environmental studies at Denison University.