# in defense of math or "open heart surgery"

### WRITTEN JUNE 23, 2017

### Written in 15 minutes as part of a poetry workshop.The prompt was to write a poem DEFENDING something you enjoy that not many people enjoy or to write a poem about a situation where you felt JUSTIFIED in your actions. I choose math as something I enjoy and this was the resulting poem.

When I thought I was going to be a doctor and solve people's problems on the inside

My friend asked me

When the *FUCK*

am I going to use math

when I'm sticking my hands into some guys open chest in surgery

Nobody's going to ask me to solve a quadratic equation before I

cut

into his heart

I hate

Math

He said

Right

Nobody's going to ask you to solve for *x* in surgery

But solving for *x* is so much easier than holding a

Live human heart with such precision and care so that you won't

Kill a man

It makes sense

Math can't lie to me

And the only unknowns are when and where to apply the constants

and which sides change

when you

divide

Human unknowns scare me

Math has reason

Sure

Math can't explain to me why I always want to hurt someone I love when I'm hurting

Math can't tell me how to be careful with other people's hearts in my hands

But math can tell me the derivative and delta over time

And how change over time is constant

And I'll always be right