Science & Technology
The Science of Beginning
      A bell shaped curve? Letís see where we overlap.
         Janet Norman Knox

             Where the curve leaves
       the page, his thighs
       across paper and slow,
             turning it over (paper or thigh?). . .
                          O Scientist Knox,
             use your fingers to trace
the bell of his chest, any statistics
you might be tracking.
Forget the box
       of hummingbird eggs
                      you hold insideó
             See their perfectly smooth curves.
       Iíve preserved them, their tiny
size, and ah, their greatness.

Look at his faceó
       what do you see other than shells, half-moons?
                      Wings emerging at cheekbones?
                  The tongue of a bell?
       A patch of nest hidden against the bamboo?
O sweet, sweet hummingbirds,
fly now.
What are the numbers here? How many
           days before an egg opens?
                      How many handprints would stretch
                    across his abdomen? Document this
                      until morning beneath the covers
       of your science book, Grayís Anatomy,
the last page of a Cloud in Trousers.


Copyright 2008,  Kelli Russell Agodon

Kelli Russell Agodon is the author of Small Knots (2004) and Geography, winner of the Washington State Floating Bridge Press Award. Her work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Prairie Schooner, Meridian, the North American Review and on "The Writer's Almanac" with Garrison Keillor. Visit her website at:

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