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