Bounding a finite space
with an infinite line,
the pattern repeats itself,
regularly, predictably,

the same ratio between divisions,
the same angles
proceed from the macro
to the micro;

the corrugations of a brain,
the shape of synapses
coiling within the skull,
the fragile fractal shape
of nerves swaying
in a serotonin storm
the way that tree limbs
dance in a hurricane.

Each life is tessellated,
curved and arced and planed
to fit snugly beside another
like jigsaw tiles;
each piece a part of the other,
a part of the whole
chaotic system—

none of us can stand
far enough outside
the fractal boundary
to see the patterns to it all,
to see that
we are the tree in the storm,
we are the raw and aching nerve,
we are each other,
pieces in a mosaic,
only whole when we’re together
in this world.


— Deborah L. Davitt


Deborah L. Davitt was raised in Nevada, but currently lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and son. Her poetry has received Rhysling and Pushcart nominations; her short fiction has earned a finalist showing for the Jim Baen Adventure Fantasy Award (2018) and has appeared in InterGalactic Medicine ShowCompelling Science Fiction, and Galaxy’s Edge. For more about her work, including her Edda-Earth novels, please see www.edda-earth.com.



Editor’s Notes: Tessellate: from a late 17th century Latin verb tessellare meaning to decorate (a floor) with mosaics. And in mathematics, it’s to cover (a plane surface) by repeated use of a single shape, without gaps or overlapping. The accompanying image is that of Hippocampal neurons (green) and glial cells (red). Scale approximately 90 microns. (Image courtesy of Paul de Koninck, Universite Laval) from Fractals in Nature (https://fractalfoundation.org/OFC/OFC-1-6.html): Our brains are full of fractals and couldn’t function were it not for fractal geometry. The human brain has 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion synapses possible only because of the fractal nature of neurons.