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April 17, 2018 / hbrowne4

Mathematics of Regret by Cheryl Vail

How do you enumerate regret?
Do you multiply the anxiety and the guilt and then divide by good deed
Add in white lies and the things about us that we despise,
but subtract by sympathy given and gained
And what abstract remains
Are we of sound mind sound body, hale and hardy or weak and wounded
What thoughts go in to make us stop
to seem
to remember
the things sensory adaptation fails to let us forget
At what temperature do the thoughts inside subside
and turn to ash ground in to soil
washed away in a new day’s rain
or tears of the things we couldn’t stand to keep but shouldn’t let go of.
In some ways,
in no ways
A decision once made can be so final
And yet it lingers
and the dregs of what we thought we destroyed grasp to the side of our phyche.
Electrons and atoms, molecules and electric pulses conquering us all
And we fall into counting.
The algebra and economics of a life lived longer and shorter than expected.

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