Cal Freeman

Proposition 15: Epistle to Mother

We have cut one another, Mother. If two straight lines cut one another, then they make vertical angles equal to one another. I was born line CD. You, line AB, your sequences of years, leading with the wrong foot at Caeli dancing, your dragging leg, your awful teeth. You still have yellow broodmare’s teeth. You cut me at point E, convincing me you’d swallowed pills and were dimming out, all histrionics. And we read how the angle CEA equals the angle DEB, and the angle BEC equals the angle AED. It rains cats and mice and the feathers of your birds, and you in this picture where the worried stand. There is the unapologetic rule that two right angles must be born on this cut. We know these concepts well. It’s as though we were in school together on some frontier, copying identical notes and shapes into our hornbooks: since the straight line DE stands on the straight line AB making the angles AED and DEB, the sum of AED and DEB equals two right angles, and in the bestiary where cats and feathers fall and those two field horses at odds have pinned back their ears, we are conspicuously absent. We will not, as those horses do after hoofing at the muck and staring each other down, return to straw.