It depends who you ask.

There is usually an active ingredient,
assorted shortcuts and kitchen secrets:
a stalk, an oil, an herb, a root, a spice,
a cabinet of confidences, a blend of seeds.

Plant a few thoughts into rows. Get lost
in orchards and vineyards. Attract wildlife.
You also have math to leverage. Lean
into angles, theorems, and cosigns
and proofs, and repeatable calculations.

Don’t limit yourself to your own voice.
What you think of yourself can
be unspeakable: instead,
call on family trees and glades
of fairies and folklore meadows
to hush the lies and fill in any gaps.

The Universe won’t demand you
show your work.
But the questions themselves
never take a night off.