Number 7

Number 7

I used to be full
of wanderlust, but now
it’s easy to provoke me
with detours and delays, anything
that isn’t a straight line, anything
that’s not a black and white equation 
dressed in certainty.

I’m obsessed with feeling
safer—but if I had to describe
what that means, I couldn’t do it.

I entertain a few visuals—
an astronaut suit, a bodyguard
a Japanese lab coat—
they all might make me
more thoughtful and deliberate
like the blond-haired door
someone held open for me today.  

If I could jump
into an envelope, at least
I could be kissed by someone’s lips
before getting locked up.  

I want someone to put me
between the heavy pages
of a really old thick calculus book.
There I can swim free
with numbers and equal signs
and all the geometric shapes.
In the freezing water, I can fly
down a triangular slide. 
When I land on my feet
I can climb again
into the next page and mingle
with another real sum.

Since there’s only one solution
I am alive and fierce and sure.
The dot at the end of the question mark
is a hole, and I slip into it
where there’s infinity and no ground
in outer space with no way
to come back to earth. 

I want to move on
to something more—but I’m chasing
something I don’t know yet
something I can’t calculate.

When I’m always afraid
there’s no room for more.
I push my head against
the book cover of fear
but it barely lifts.

I try to squeeze myself
into a flat number to slip by it, something
like the number seven.

But fear is too good
at catching me
I need to travel smarter
like the northern lights with their flicker
of colors. I want to be seen, but unknown
from moment to moment. I can be
more that way, up high as the sky. 
Nothing can catch me there. 

Instead I surf
with the smell of watercolor
running off the page
with any shade of my choice
whenever I feel like it.
Out on the cool table
I solidify in the pencil groves
into a pile of something
that someone wants
to touch.  

What are you looking for?