What Anticipated Wonders We’d Have Summed
by Thomas Mixon
What tallied courtesies, hedged bits of reaffirming push
notifications we will never eat, forever
lodged between incisors of what could have been.
I’ve found warm columns of an august April
we will never live, next to my bed.
The forgotten god of wobbly nightstands
recently has left. Their sweat on top of long division
almost makes the perfect kind of sense.
I’ve never liked math. But some subtraction’s
too fantastic not to recommend.
I tell all my friends. I go on for hours
on end. The endings of our conversations
trend toward never adding up. They say
I’m in a reality some months off. They say
we can’t dwell on a spring that never was.
I show them the runny figures
the forgotten god of wobbly nightstands
left so we could leave the checkboxes unmarked
the next time this inevitably happens.
The next time this inevitably happens
let’s ingest each missed event
into this brand new data set,
let algorithms parse regret,
and give our grinding teeth some rest.
* Writing Prompt: What imagined, real, ridiculous, or necessary deities inhabit (or have abandoned) the objects we touch every day? What parts of our body do we never press to the unpainted chair, to the extra shoelace? Experiment with delayed interactions. Taunt the god of the unstable line break. What’s the shape of improvidence?
Thomas Mixon is a cowbird with planuloid tendencies. Recent work has been featured with RTÉ Radio Ireland, Massachusetts Poetry Festival, and more.