Counting Game

I never knew how to count before you

The day I met you
you told me I didn't need to listen to the way my lungs collapsed on impulse
I could hold your hand,
Find your pulse,
And count the number of times your heart beats
I could press my head on your chest
And catch your breath instead of my own
I started to count your breaths even when you weren't around
You taught me how to breathe

Once I started I couldn't stop
I started to count the number of hearts in a room,
The number of brains,
Ideas,
Lungs
Finger tips,
Lovers,
Lips,
Teeth

I could feel you everywhere,
I took your pulse with me
I took your blistered finger tips with me
I took your Hudson River eyes with me
I took your breath with me

I took all my habits from you,
Holding my breath instead of hands,
Bloody cheeks and finger nails,
Accelerating heart rates,
Fidgeting,
Apologizing too much,
Throwing up,
Counting.

I could never forget the way you taught me how to count,
And most days I find myself still counting
And I can still hear your heart beating on my head like a song I never learned to forget
I can still feel mine matching your tempo
And I think of what it'd be like to forget how to count

I wouldn't know the number of times I'd been fucked up
Or how many tries it's take to make someone go away
Or the odds of this never working out
Or how much he reminds me of you

Some days I think you have the same heartbeat
I'll never get to take a pulse that's any different from yours
I'll have to live my life listening to the same rhythm
A rhythm that trapped me with integers
And I forgot what it was like to use words to cope

I don't know how to say that I'm scared
That I'm tightrope walking
But more focused on the number of steps rather than keeping balance
I don't know how to say I keep falling
And I'm not sure why

I don't know how to say that he's the kind of beautiful you could never be
But I don't know if that's entirely correct
And I don't know if I want to find out
Because you proved the truth may not be the truth we'd hope for
But all I've ever wanted to explore was truth
That's why math made sense, you could prove it

And all you proved was that my bleeding body could never stop bleeding
Despite scabs that suggested healing
The human body can bleed 1.5 gallons of blood
And I can still hear my counting bouncing off the concrete floor
Waiting to run out

You proved that you could dissect a body
And make a heart work like a brain
You proved that fear could be stronger than love
That simple math could cure anxiety

Maybe even help you cheat death

This poem is about: 
Me
Guide that inspired this poem: 

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