United States

Message to Readers

trigger warning for descriptions of disordered eating. nothing is very graphic at all, but it's definitely a theme of this poem.

counting: numbers.

March 2, 2019



that has ever made mom cry
has been about math

and algebra 2 honors is bursting me in 2.
how many beats in a calorie
how many cal-or-ies in a cherry tomato

i must prove = a calculated burn
with reason = i got a C on my math final
to be honest = i leaked happy tears

mom doesn’t know but i write about her
and i count for her
and i know nothing makes her happier

than an 100. i know
it makes me happy 2 so i tear it all out
and i pray for a scale and a number i can work with.

and the night after mom went to the hospital
i stuck 2 fingers down my throat thinking to drown
instead i coated the floor in bile and rice paddies

instead i watered the crops
saved the village fed 4-1 people
coated my fingers in blood.

we have screaming fights where i rip out hair
and i tell her: i cook the rice before dinner!
i got an A on that quadratics quiz!

i am smaller than i have ever been!
would never fail algebra 2 honors

cause addition is easier than subtraction
but ice cream comes back up the smoothest
and i am here to win.

i used to give myself paper cuts sticking
exams between the wrong pages and
now i just erase every number

i just sit here
in pencil marks with

blood on toothbrush
teeth searching to starve out rot
mom’s face frozen, full.

so i look at this problem.
and i factor out irrationals
to create a prettier expression.

descriptions of disordered eating trigger warning.


See History
  • March 2, 2019 - 1:45pm (Now Viewing)

Login or Signup to provide a comment.

  • asteria

    i am in love with this poem. absolutely in love with it

    over 1 year ago
  • paperbird

    it feels unfair that you can only like a piece once. i literally read this three times. some things are too good for this site.

    almost 2 years ago