You can’t check the back of the book for this one.

I think you’re supposed to stop this sometime before the end of highschool
at least,
every girl in every movie I’ve ever seen
makes her peace by seventeen
like the magic seven (or six, or five, or even eight)
is the spell that breaks the brokenness.
I’ve studied this intensely, and there doesn’t seem to be
an incantation or a rite
or a specific candle type
or a spice or a herb to curb the bitterness on the tongue
the soapy basic fizzle flickering in your Eustachian tube when she speaks,
when you speak –
just the powerful magic of age and change
simultaneous equations I cannot solve.
Math is just applied logic
and there’s nothing that logic can’t cure
except the wracking cough of a rocky wreck
washed ashore and spluttering for the sweet kiss of the water
grieving for a mother who doesn’t know how to love her.