Day 25 – TJ

My first boyfriend,
in 9th grade,
was TJ Peterson.

We went out for 2 weeks
and then I broke it off
because I thought
he didn’t like me enough.

I watched too many movies
and I thought
it should’ve been romantic,
something more obvious,

but he was just my friend
who was funny
who didn’t have any classes with me
so he sent his friend to get a bathroom pass
and deliver me notes
across the school.

They were just about his day,
and whether he did his homework or not,
and some doodles,
that’s all.

We wrote a lot that year,
even though his friends sometimes
gave him grief about it.

Someone said we should date
so we tried it,
but when we held hands
it was so sweaty
and I didn’t like when
people looked at us.

So I said it could never work
and he moved away soon after.
I didn’t really notice because
I liked the new goth kid
and TJ never really
liked me much anyway.

I never figured it real enough
to matter.

But I’m a lot older now,
and I’ve stomached at least one
episode of The Bachelor,
so I’m starting to think maybe
it was as real
as anything
ever is.

Day 20 – Dividing Fractions

The thing I like
best to teach
is to divide

You can’t do it.

You have to change a piece
to its opposite,
make it the reverse
of what it is,
to do what needs
to be done.
You’ve got to multiply,
which almost seems
to defeat the purpose.
And yet from it
you can get
what you need.

I quite like to teach
how to do things
that can’t be done.