The equation of our lives is expressed
as a measure of something—
we just can't remember what.
Perhaps it is something easy,
like sleep or joy. The peeling
laminate of the shower wall
would not qualify. Or maybe it would,
if, underneath the cheap plastic,
between the mold-bloated studs,
there was something truly beautiful.
Maybe there's a basket of kittens,
certainly not dead and maggot ridden—
maybe an old library book, a smudged
due-date stamped in red on the ivory card
tucked inside its paper pocket