232 THIS YEAR, SO FAR
I find myself lost in the news
of statistics. The economy glazes into
columns of indistinguishable symbols,
clouding into some grim portent under which my primitive
mind can only tremble and hope.
Polls tick off who might think what now and when
but math seems irrelevant in the shadow
of amoral calculus. Numbers wilt against the wall
of willful ignorance, like a dog forgotten in the sun,
still worthy but abandoned.
And the people. Counted. Dead.
Four or more (not including the shooter),
grouped and catalogued and added and subtracted
and piled on the fire, glowing hotter
and growing closer, leaving behind charred families
and chasms, but not yet large enough
to threaten us all.
Though smoke has infiltrated
the movies and the malls and the arenas
and the churches and the mosques
and the synagogues and the schools
and the businesses and the homes
and the streets, the entire world
is technically not yet on fire.
I find myself lost in math.
I understand what equals what,
but it doesn’t seem to mean anything.