Melancholy Hyperbole

Poetry about longing.

Numbers Game

We thought we could pool
our loneliness—
mine plus yours,
addition thus becoming
division of emptiness.

But ten years later,
our handshake deal
isn’t enough;
zero divided by any number
still equals zero.

The house suffers our pitiless
geometry. We burrow
into our separate cells.
In acute silence
grudges multiply like mice.

This is a subtraction
that compounds daily.
We never mastered
that higher branch of mathematics
that could make our fractions whole.
Sandi Leibowitz is a native New Yorker who sings classical music, teaches, and writes fiction and poetry, mostly speculative. Her works appear in such places as Goblin Fruit, Best Horror of the Year, vol. 5, edited by Ellen Datlow, and Strange Horizons. You may visit her raven’s nest at

Categories: Poetry

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