TERMINUS

At the known world’s all too finite end,
On the highest floor’s remotest bend,
Our room spells curtains for infinity
And for life itself in Fifteen Twenty-Three.

A sign warns in the narrowed hall
That, go farther, and you’ll fall
Like Magellan’s bobbing ship
Down the ocean’s one last dip:

Nothing in the land more high
Than this, save scudding sky:
Even solar breezes funnel
Through the nearby ventilation tunnel;

Here Einstein, Planck, and no doubt Quine
Watch earth and gasping air entwine−
Although the room card doesn’t mention
Where you find the fourth dimension,

The coordinates of space are herein spec’d
And mitred by the architect,
His railroad terminal design
Positively borderline,

A structure living on the high-rise rim
Of rental life and time-share limb,
Whose Cartesian chambers antecede
Any further housing need,

The ne plus ultra of
Money, life, and arithmetic love,
Beyond which no mere guest
Has any right to rest,

Lest our interference ruin its
Paradise of rationed units,
The one-stop Pythagorean shop
Of Fibonacci’s small whistle stop.

The whole weight of sunlight’s arabesque
Rivets on our corner desk,
The sum total of its countless stars
Now lightbulbs in the minibars,

The ends of meaning in our mirror,
The dusk itself grown somewhat clearer,
Flooding on our ringside window seat
Where time and nothingness can meet,

The algebraic panorama
Of space’s differential drama,
The last legs of the dying day
In this bedroom no cliché,

On the edge where gods consort,
The very model of the last resort−
Even glass here tints one way:
Light comes in and plans to stay,

A hotelier’s black hole
Sponging up the global soul,
Looking out the darkling panes
Beyond which nothing else remains,

Like a bumper on a railroad track
Behind which empty spaces stack,
The cutoff point where what will be
Piles up here exclusively,

A rather tacky interface
On the lip of furnished space,
Where added and subtracted creatures
Frolic in the water features,

The sum of universal fiats
Provided by the godlike Marriotts,
The world series’ final score
Imprinted on our prison door,

The crowning glory of all places,
The point of life this last oasis,
Playing with our random tumblers
By running out of primal numbers.