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prime numbers.jpgThe square root of 35 is lovesick,
unless you divide it
by a husband and child.
Multiplied by itself,
the answer is the same.
You can’t divide it by three either,
you just get fractions,
and fractions are messy to carry around in your pocket,
heavier than change.

The square root of me is you
minus seven.
The square root of you
runs off with your secretary.
You can see the problem with this equation:
me at 35 and lovesick.
you in Tahiti with your secretary.
By the time you factor in lost wages,
Prozac, hours at the therapist,
we’re well into negative numbers.

Multiply me by one meditation retreat.
Take it to the power of three.
Reduce you by a bad hair day,
too many calls to voice mail,
a factor of 26.
Ante up suspicion and pay the dealer.
This is a bad math problem
and a poor system for Vegas.

The square root of 35 is lovesick.
Divide me by champagne and flowers,
and we go into infinite neutral numbers.
Prime numbers.
Make me a prime number.
Add anything to make me prime:
weight, confidence, hair color, fertilizer.
Then I cannot be divided
Then I can only multiply and multiply.

© Deborah Edler Brown

Much thanks to David Frison for the image!