dot, by Daniel Dejean
A dot is a point,
a primitive notion upon which the geometry is built.
It has no length, area, volume or any other dimensional attribute.
We can’t define it
We can only say that it obeys mysterious rules,
rules that we can state, but not define.
So, a dot is a doubt,
nothing can be less there and still be.
Does it exist,
or do we only imagine it because of rules that don’t exist?
A dot is a separator,
marking the non-place between A and B.
The dot in Ada Lovelace’s email name
is neither her first nor her last name,
but it tells you which is which,
It separates Ada the person from the mathematician,
then connects them into a whole.
A dot is a connector.
When Rachel and Daniel share an email
they also share a dot
It’s a separator that tells us which is which,
a connector asking if they are one.
It’s also a doubt.
Who is Rachel.Daniel?
Is she/he/they one or two?
Does their dot separate or connect?
define or confuse?
give order or chaos?
Goo.gle tells us that characters matter,
one small change sends my email to Ouagadougou,
or to some place I can’t define.
Rachel.Daniel place their dot with care,
showing reverence for Go.ogle,
letting us see their separation and their connection.
But G.oogle doesn’t care.
For it/she/he/they the dot has no meaning.
By its rule, Rachel.Daniel is RachelDaniel.
It directs email as we intend,
not knowing what we are trying to say by the dot,
not caring that we don’t know what it means to us.
The dot has no length, area, or volume.
Still it engages,
it marks, links, builds, and relates,
Undefinable, it defines something,
a deal, a partnership, a friendship, a love?
It must be there because of the mysterious rules
that Ada’s machines make us obey.
Eucl.id gave us rules for the dot.
He couldn’t tell us what it was,
only that it must be some place and not another...