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Write What You Know This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category.

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don't know calculus.
I don't know why the
quadratic formula is important.
I don't know what they put
in hot dogs or how
to make people like me,
and despite 150 hours
spent sitting in a classroom,
I still don't know anything
about chemistry.

But I do know how
to make coffee.
I know how to make
my best friend laugh.
I know how to properly
annotate a text (thanks
to my ninth-grade English teacher)
and I know what makes
rainbows appear.
I know why Simon Bolivar
said “Let's go, as fast as
we can. No one loves us
here,” before leaving for
exile in Europe, because I
know how it feels to live in
a place where no love exists.
I know that orchids are
the ugliest of flowers,
that's why I keep one in
my house at all times,
and I know why my grandmother
cried when I told her
I wanted to go into the arts.

I don't know if God exists,
but I know that morality does.
I don't know how to work
the Cylindrical Shell Method
or solve for the integral
of a power series,
but I do know how to
keep my seven-year-old
cousin from crying.
And I'd take that
over calculus any day.

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

This work has won the Teen Ink contest in its category. This piece won the May 2013 Teen Ink Poetry Contest.




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