Euclid's Algorithm by Emily Galvin
These ten scenes happen on the blank stage.
A and B could be any two people, so long as
they've been together for longer than either
O N E
I love you.
What was that?
You know? (Leaving) Oh.
T W O
What am I going to do now?
Don't know--the same?
I don't know what to do now.
I can't keep going. (Leaving) Still, probably will.
Are you all right?
What's the matter? (Leaving) Everyone--
It's not them.
I just can't.
. . .
E I G H T
Well, are you coming with me?
I don't know what I'm going to do.
What do you think you're going to do?
Do you think you'll come over? (Leaving)
I dunno if I'll come now.
Later on? Later when? We'll see.
These stanzas of "Euclid's Algorithm" are used with the permission of Tupelo Press. For readers unfamiliar with the algorithm, Wikipedia offers comprehensive but perhaps too much information; this Rutgers site is a bit simpler -- and You-Tube shows several examples. In short, this algorithm is a procedure that considers two positive integers and finds the largest integer that divides evenly into both of them. In Galvin's stanzas above, the word count for each sentence is a number in the application of the algorithm. The first two lines of each section establish the initial integers for which the greatest common divisor will be found. And, after the pause, the algorithm is applied to the stated numbers.