After participating last Saturday in Washington, DC's "March for Our Lives" my head has been full of numbers related to gun violence. Stepping away from those to other numbers, I have re-found and enjoyed this poem by Spanish poet Elena Soto.
The cicadas of mathematical cycles by Elena Soto
Sheltered by the prime numbers,
the nymphs of the periodic cicadas
descend to the underworld.
Their cycles --
only divisible by one and by themselves --
Magicicada septendecim and Magicicada tredecim
enter the veil of the earth looking for tender plants.
They gather for oblivion and life
and thus conclude the circle of chaos.
And the legend says that they never return
because their blood becomes chlorophyll
and they are forever subjected to
the ancient cycle of plant constellations.