Algebra I | | The Online Writing Community
Algebra I

Algebra I


when someone becomes someone else, or has a double somewhere that you've found- and care for because of the exact same reasons


I once walked into you at a concert.

In fact,

I would have traipsed right into your forehead,

had there not been an accidental sidestep.

I’m not graceful

or even competent on both feet,

but I avoided an attractive collision

and pondered out loud why I only saw your sister.

I have since desperately adored your replacement

with a hungry fascination

wrought in my marrow

by years of trying to one-up you in fractions

and then decimals

and imaginary numbers,

as if I didn’t expect

my writing to be one day ruffled

and my pages to be disturbed

by someone who looks nothing like you,

but is you,

 to me,

only lighter

and further freckled.

He tastes my name the same way you did

and I learned again to crave the salty syllables,

dripping with their almost friendly venom,

as they escaped the slippery un-hesitant lips of hardly disguised smirks.

I still think people are always laughing at me.


I pretend that your fingers continue to turn

through the books we loved

that your fabricated reputation wouldn’t allow you

to talk about with anyone.

You only ever publicly admonished me

for the feigned belief I had never read them.

Literature had not previously been

an experience that left the confines of my own thought processes,

but nevertheless

we adopted our own haphazard, little-discovered  eloquence

and toyed with plot development and characterization

via our consistent dialogue of distasteful commentary.


I steal memories of you when I can’t get myself to sleep,

and gloat silently as you pass by more frequently than sheep,

rocking gently through my quilts with un-crinkled amber eyes

and sun dripping off your shoulders

in golden bursts and just the glint of what may be front teeth.

I can only thieve my own mind,

and there I conjure afternoons in spring,

lining my imagination in trodden-over linoleum floor

and painted over, repeatedly tacked white walls,

where I can find the worn space

you would lean into,

exhaling forced nonchalance,

but breathily inciting my heart rate.


I thought I saw you tonight, getting your car serviced.

You turned, and I can’t decide if I made you up this time.

© 2011 EVERYTHINGyoucantelltoSTRANGERS

Author's Note

last stanza?

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Added on July 1, 2011
Last Updated on July 1, 2011



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