Arithmetic

Location

It’s a quarter past 3 and I know I should be asleep,

because I have a calculus test tomorrow

but I just can’t clear the screen

 

You see, somedays

it feels like there’s a man inside the calculator

trying to decide if 2 plus 2 should only equal 4

or, can he make it cost more?

 

And if 6 divided by 2 only equals three than

how much of myself are we entitled to call me?

And is there even room for individuality?

 

Because I bet

if we buried it in a triangle-shaped box

we could wrap it in lies and disguise it as

half calf socks

or a maxi skirt

or bow ties

or big glasses

or converse that rise knee high

 

Maybe if we loosened their suspenders

or tore off their ugly sweaters

revoked their varsity jackets

and unpolarized our cliques and magnets

 

we would find that our pain is recursive

and as we stood together clothed in nothing but melatonin and shame

we could cosine the dotted tangent line that we only had ourselves to blame because

 

we traded our names for numbers

never took the time to understand the explicit function at hand

we just let it slip through our digits like sand through an hourglass

we let the time pass

and no one rise over ran,

we just let the slope get steeper

and ate pi as the graph took a negative turn

 

you see, there are no words like I, he, she, we, when we

factor out the deepest points

of our human condition

 

And I’m adjacently sick of parallels and division

because even I know that

categorizing, alphabetizing, and marginalizing

subtracts the ability of addition

to multiply or duplicate any percentage of deserved equality

 

and there is no need to consume a partial sum of calories

that geometric shape they want you to measure up to is

an imaginary number

 

you follow this compass for acute angles

because

your obtuse view of yourself strangles

 

but i wish you could see in a mirror of 90 degrees because

all you are is just right

 

So

Drop the fractionated self hate and realize

that you are not a polygon but an organic figure

with so many concave secrets that

society labeled xdiagnosed by the world’s text

nobody dared to protract your variables as complex.

 

So please, show your work on this problem because

There is no equation advanced enough to simplify you into the lowest common denominator.

You are 360 degrees

and those who care will take the circumference

save the diameter for the semicircles and squares

because there is an infinity of possibilities

and don’t let the radicals scare you because even an odd number can be whole, and positive.

 

This poem is about: 
Me
My community
My country
Our world
Guide that inspired this poem: 
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

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