Do The Math, Become An American

You have been born
into a palace. 

Carved into
the walls of the palace

is an equation
that is itself a palace 

all its own, a palace
made of directions

to enter a farther palace
beyond all mathematics

where you can live forever
instead of staying 

and eventually dying
here in this first palace

where you are only
allowed to be either

spectator of, or specter for,
the immortals inside the

palace of math, the ones
who have figured it all out

or were born into it;
that’s all they will ever know

of you, your struggle 
with numbers,

your mad scratching
at the walls trying to 

figure out how to have
what they have.

You are to them
either specter of the disastrous

life outside, or spectator for 
the luxury of being inside, 

and while you do the math
to figure out how palaces

may be entered by command or
fortune or breach, they keep

watch.  There’s math
to be done on their side too:

the simple arithmetic 
of how to raise the walls,

no matter how close
you or anyone may get

to solving for
the key,  for zero;

for the red white and blue
on the other side of the x.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

5 responses to “Do The Math, Become An American

  • Léa

    Le drapeau de la France est tricolore (bleu, rouge, et blanc), tout comme le Royaume-Uni et d’autres pays. Cependant, je crois que vous le saviez déjà. 😉
    The flag of France is three colored, (Blue, red, and white) as is the UK and other countries as well. However, I believe you already knew that. 😉

    • Tony Brown

      Of course, but the phrase “the red white and blue” to US readers conjures something on its own. It’s the phrasing, not the flag.

      • Léa

        You are absolutely correct. Alas, I have a bit of a facetious streak that takes over at times. I simply couldn’t resist. I’ve no doubt that you could go into town and find a number of citizens that don’t realize that they are not the only country to fly those colors. My inner mischievousness has escaped again…

      • Tony Brown

        No worries. I saw a person arguing about the flag of Liberia the other day…which bbn of course looks very much like the US flag

      • Tony Brown

        No worries. I assumed as much.

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