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I want to be a number This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

I want to trace the blood flowing
underneath your skin with my fingertips,
moan my feelings in your hair,
pick dead eyelashes from your cheeks
and make wishes
(sometimes, I'd even pluck some
from your eyes, on purpose)

I want to taste your breaths

and recite poetry to you and the walls
around us,
through rings of smoke,
and tell you about poets such as Sylvia Plath
and Anne Sexton,
I want to let you know how they choked
on their sadness, depression and
carbon monoxide

I want to let you know
how there's nothing scary
about differentiation and integration we learned about
in eleventh-grade mathematics,
how perfect equations and numbers are at managing
to exclude chaos from the insides of their
brackets

I want to be a number,
a seven, one or maybe even three
thousand, two hundred and sixty-five,

but I'm afraid I'd just
end up like Sylvia and Anne – a letter,
word and sentence (emotion)
never voiced out loud

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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