In the lower grades the idea of division terrified me
a monster that lurks under the bed or
just around the corner
I slept dreams of division where I was lost
and split in two, in three, in twelve.
Things do not naturally break apart
they don’t teach you entropy in second grade
and I was wrong
My father explained entropy one night while I
bored of studying for my chemistry test
threw in the towel, at midnight
over a bowl of chocolate ice cream
my least favourite kind.
Entropy meant the ice cream would melt and
my room would get messy and
the body of the cat we buried
behind the house, back in second grade,
and nothing would fit back perfectly again
not without effort-effort multiplied
But I didn’t wake up at midnight
terrified of multiplication
it was division that haunted me.
Maybe I already knew
that things fell apart
Maybe I was already
That midnight when I learned
understood with clarity
the immense expanse of the universe
and the equally gigantic fear of
in the dreams of a seven year old girl.