Ain’t Got No Math, I Got Words

Ain’t got no math,
I didn’t wanna test,
but I had to, cuz
everything was mathematical to me;
the calculus of my life,
and I was nothing but numbers:
15 steps to the sawn wood doors,
five rows down, a free seat,
0 pencils, I’d purloin.
160 cm of desert flesh
flying down inky stairwells,
dry chalk elbows, white
crackling formulas.

I forgot to be gentle,
to apply learning lotion
so the numbers chafed again:
10, the minutes until examination,
2, the number of perky areola
distracting my amicably #’d classmates,
an infinity sign of humiliation rising
above a matrix of limp tendrils,
an algorithm of the years that followed,
knowing I once held structure,
a transcendental equation,
derailed by the collapse
of the last pylon in my bridge.

So, what’ have I got? Why am I alive anyway? What’ have I got, nobody can take away?

I got my words,
got my diction,
got my free verse.
got my fiction.

Got my mood, got my tale, got my rhyme.

I got my style.

I got my tone,
got metonymy,
got my climax
got synecdoche,

I got words,
I got my imagination;
Oh, I got my freedom, and I got words.


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