«bones that are my bones
numbers that are my numbers
words that are my words:
the bone of my bones
the number of my numbers
the word of my words»
I do not know much about numbers. In my life, I have just had the chance to count to four or ten or twenty several times, but this has not taught me much about them.
I do not really know what they mean, when I do not count. Whether they are still somewhere, alive or dead, or where they sprout from when I need. Whether a huge box keeps them all within, a box full of ones and twos and threes, a heap of all numbers in all shapes and sizes. For people might need to count many bits of things all at once and one must never be short of numbers.
Some say they altogether match the overall things to count and that they stay as words with meanings do.
To be true, I do not believe that way either.
No one counts the numbers for the numbers’ sake. For new numbers would be required to count the old ones and some trick should finally be devised to prove the existence of the new ones and that they do work. This procedure would actually be endless and pointless, a stiff chain of hopeless chances, of loops trapped into one another.
Numbers stick out of a stack of algebra, figures and unknowns, a poor slang of fingers in a few hands, whether sand grains or red giants.
There is no competition among numbers – this I have observed.
It is like in a perfect, steady queue: each stands its own place and never tries to pass over that coming after or before, just for the sake of being the one, the first, the last at once.
A murmur of conversation always rises as I count.
They seem to be polished to the touch, polite, somehow glancing up as well, as I call the roll.
The whole world gets a strange feeling as I count.
The imprecision of feelings is rounded down to fingers.
Big things crackle and crumble like frozen snow under feet.
Again, in spite of that, the whole world is worth being counted – two ones from the same pair, for fear of loss and despair.