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Jan 2015
I used to think in numbers.
1: There’s one of me. Alone. Plus
4: my family. Still 1, but 5, or
4 plus 1; that’s me, alone.
I used to think in numbers.
36: That’s weeks of school;
That’s weeks of math class,
math class, calculator;
Father, Son, and Calculator.
Trinity: the holy three, the three, the
3 times 36: that’s 108.
I used to think in numbers.
Math class, algebra, room 108.
I hate, I hate, I love, I hate,
I hate the way they look at me.
They look at me like man at dog,
like planet hogs,
throw books at me like cannons cogged
at ninety-minute intervals at cinder walls
until I fault and cringe and fall, and fall
like London Bridge and crash, and fall like
Blown-out glass gone back to class. I pass the
tests and cash regrets like rent checks
bounced across the bridge that they knocked down.
Because I used to think in numbers, yeah,
but now?

        Well, sure. Abrasions hurt.
And yeah, we all want friends.
But at least equations work
and keep their balance on both ends.
So I will rock this scatter-plot of
social contract to its peak until
my hands are red meat.
I am no dead beat;
I hold the world record for blood lost
to a summer camp spread sheet.

But then,
but then somewhere along that number line,
a 6 stared down its stage fright when just
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 days before the show,
I met a girl who barred my better judgment
like a cage fight,
and thank God she did,
because for once, I put away the calculator,
and I listened to her voice,
and it sounded like…
well, it sounded like it sounded.
And for once, I sat and wrote about the things
that can’t be counted.
I surrendered to the cage fight,
and I fell into a deep hole.
And to be honest,

I don’t miss spreadsheet summers,
‘cause it’s easier to keep cool.
I used to think in numbers,
yeah,
but now I think in people.
Robert Joseph Hoffman Jr
Written by
Robert Joseph Hoffman Jr  Williams
(Williams)   
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