The “second power” is the square of a number.
The “third power” is the cube of a number.
But what of the EIGHTH power? What’s that called?
That is called the Zenzizenzizenzic.
Zenzizenzizenzic! Zenzizenzizenzic! Zenzizenzizenzic!
We saw them through the late night window of a junk vintage shop, wandering out on a Friday looking for thumbtacks, an accidental discovery of a commercial zone corner a block away from our apartment, (a doughnut shop, a corner store, a bar, a chic asian cocktail lounge), six brushed industrial metal letters a foot high, as silver and kind as clean water, so smooth fingers might mistake them for soft, B E A U T Y.
Fourty five dollars said the bearded man in the shop, the next afternoon when we asked. We’ll think about it, we said, we’ll be back. We liked him, his enthusiasm, his pleased surprise at our esoteric knowledge of old, strange parts. The rest of the shop was trash, (minus an eau de nil electroshock machine and a modern, colourful painting of a horse made of scissors), all broken furniture and the sort of costume jewelry even hipsters wouldn’t wear. Piles stacked on other piles, used newspaper messy, nothing to invite a body in to dig.
Fourty five dollars, he said, and the next day we paid it. Sunday on our way to somewhere else, not quite almost running late. Fourty five dollars and we brought our own bag. (They sounded like a factory accident as they rubbed together, like the foley for a train crash, unexpected and intense.) Soon the letters will go above the bed, a literary headboard, both statement and fact, to remind us who we are and what we’re after, our us-against-them cure for the world.