The Sum Of

Everything is about numbers;
numbers to hold,
numbers to call,
numbers to count you back to when you last came,
to where you came from,
to the miles you’ve moved
since then, the things you lost,
the weight you gained, waiting.
Everything is about numbers;
race,
pace,
the breath you chase,
the peace once possible,
the place you never knew you were meant to be in
in relation to where you ended up,
in its place.
Everything is about numbers,
2 metres apart,
4 doors to the left
of where you thought you were going,
3 corridors in mourning grey, daisies on the floor,
1st floor,
cubicle number 5,
patient number 196629.
I was 18
the last time I was here.
I was 4 days in the 1st ward where 2 men died
on my 1st night.
They moved me
to another ward, later
when they figured out I wasn’t to be number 3.
I stayed 5 more days.
I’d been courting glandular fever-
the kissing disease, the doctor said with a giggle
and the nurse smiled, all 20 years of her wanting.
It had been 2 months
since I’d told someone I liked boys
instead of breasts.
6 months after lying in bed with the kissing fever
I was kissed for the 1st time
on the 8th of august.
I was 23 days away from 19.
Sometimes you catch the disease first,
sometimes it’s all in your head although
the comfort of kisses can’t be calculated on charts
like the outcome of an ECG
that happened at 13.46pm.

(I’m physically fine and dandy like that floor daisy!)

4 thoughts on “The Sum Of

  1. brianmcm999gmailcom

    An incredibly well constructed poem, pulsating rhythm, crammed with currently salient detail and cleverly placed thoughts and both overt and subliminal suggestions which lead the reader down avenues and alleyways, none of them blind. Obviously consciously crafted but in a minority of poems which benefits from this as without that crafting here the poem wouldn’t hang right, or hang tight. I like this poem a great deal Damien, a great deal:)

    Brian McManus 15 April 2021

    1. deuxiemepeau

      Thank you so much Brian. It kept me busy yesterday while in waiting rooms and trying to avoid clocks which meant journeys into the mind and memory so as not to waste time. Really appreciate your comments and the inclusion of numbers too. Damien 9:34 16.04.21

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