In the Washington, DC area's Beltway Poetry Quarterly, edited by Kim Roberts, I recently found this lively number-poem by Pennsylvania poet Barbara DeCesare in the Summer 2012 issue that features poets in the federal government. Enjoy.
Your Favorite Number by Barbara DeCesare
I hope you have a damn good reason
because when you let a number like that in,
it’ll turn on you so fast.
36: spine on spine, a grudge,
a house divided, half-sisters,
or the twins,
but one lives head tucked
inside the other, her legs
dangling out above the other’s hip.
Why do you want that trouble?
Or maybe thirty-six just rhymes with
and that’s enough to give it rank
among the infinite runners-up.
But I will tell you about my treasure,
8: not the usual infinity handstand
you probably hear from other girls
who grab the number because
their tiny hands can get around its waist.
I love 8, I mean love like you don’t know.
I love 8 like peacocks or revenge. I mean business.
This is the number that should be a letter,
serene, contained, indifferent, charming.
A plump mother, pasta, pastry.
When 36 betrays you,
and it will, my friend,
come to me and I will crack an 8 in half for you,
let you drink its sweet milk, use its ends for mittens,
or I’ll bend it as a butterfly bandage for you
to seal up the hole above your hip
where the worst of you broke off.