Eight million, four hundred and nine thousand, six hundred breaths.
That’s how many I have breathed in the 365 days you have been gone,
And that’s how many battles I’ve had since you said
“Ain’t nobody ever gonna love you”
And left me.
Sixteen thousand, eight hundred twenty-six dollars.
Approximately how much a duty soldier makes per year.
And for all those battles that I’ve fought without you,
I think I deserve 16,826 dollars.
Forty thousand, six hundred and seven,
The tears I’ve cried in those three hundred sixty five days,
Breathing those eight million, four hundred and nine thousand, six hundred breaths
And I’ve counted every one.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.