Helping my son figure out
equations and linear functions,
I remember how in math
I was always about to get lost.
Limits and derivatives,
sine and cosine,
coefficients and constants.
All it took was a blink,
a glance away
from the blackboard,
and I was in a forest:
trees with no tops, rare noises,
and a mounting darkness.
Even if I learned a new concept,
it was like arriving in a foreign country
in the middle of the night
and only knowing how to say,
“Hello” or “Where’s the bathroom?”
Teachers kept pushing me deeper and deeper —
Algebra, Calculus, Trigonometry.
It felt like riding a train up a jagged mountain,
I would like to live in a world of words.
I would like to swim through them like summer water,
do backflips, underwater high-fives, twirling torpedoes.
With words, I could build imaginary trees into the sky,
wooden rollercoasters, and labyrinths of roses.
I would like to follow a winding road of language
to places where I don’t mind getting lost,
where I can be free