the day Fredholm died

was also the day gold was discovered in Alaska,
thirty-one years earlier, and fifty-years and a day
before Elvis died. On this date, the US took LA— 
not returnable without receipt. At 8:19 I’m driving
down Alameda, shopping list in pocket:
      peppers, lemons,
      self-rising flour—like electric self-starters
      for cars, patented 87 years ago.
Oh, and beer. It’s five nights before a full moon. Next week
the sun will set 13 minutes earlier. Temp’s low 50’s
in Von’s grocery. I select three peppers. JULIA ROBERTS
CAUGHT WITH ANOTHER MAN! Shari scans
the produce. Punches numbers, wears a brace
—repetitive stress injury—no one
does math anymore. Not like Erik Ivar Fredholm,
working with integral equations and the spectrum theory. 

Example:
given ‘g’, ‘w’ and ‘a’, one might wish to solve for ‘f’
if g-of-x equals the integral from a-to-x of w-of-x,y
multiplied by f-of-y, dy

                                                            x
                                                  g (x)= ∫ w (x,y) f (y) dy
                                                            a

Now it’s Paper or plastic? Dan Quayle said We don’t
want to go back to tomorrow, we want to go forward.
       Plastic’s fine. 
Shari scans my credit card—16 digits—declares,
      My husband loves this beer
I don’t like beer, bought it for my boyfriend
and his friend, Mars, who hears voices, 
                                                  (No, the big knife)
Mars drove across the country, 27 states, 56 days.  
Doesn’t believe Elvis is dead.  
      Road through Kalamazoo, saw a hitchhiker
      near a burger stand. I know it was him. 
In 1877, a moon off the planet Mars was discovered.
Four hundred and twelve years ago, the settlers
in Roanoke, NC disappeared. Disappeared as in death
can strike at any number on the clock, the calendar,
9, 10, morning, tonight, I wish I’d brought a jacket.