Simple Math

I don’t know how much others dwell on the past as part of their everyday lives, but I’m a dweller.  I think about the things that could have been.  Mistakes I’ve made that could have been tens or hundreds of times worse than they actually were.  Looking back, sometimes I’m thankful, and then I wonder to myself, “what will I be thankful for in the future?” Sometimes, I have general ideas, and sometimes I have hopes and dreams, but there will be times, I’m sure, where I’ll be sitting in a rocking chair with no hair and just kind of staring off into the distance, and I’ll be thankful my mistakes were easily fixed.

Simple Math
I believe had I been a father
any of the times previous,
I’d have killed myself,
effectively ruining three lives
with one bullet.

I would sit outside
her bathroom, practicing pacing
in the Maternity Ward.
And each time over,
like a Doctor saying the gender,
the relief of that EPT “minus” came–
the dash on the tombstone
of a child we would never have.