Bathsheba’s Algebra
Bethany T. Lee (bio)

Solve for x:

Where y is the difference
between the lilies for the trash

and the wine on the table.
here n equals doors answered,

raised to the power of summons
I should have broken

and strings now unplayed.
Where I have poured water

over every cinder
but left ashes in my bread.

Multiply this equation
by the number of times

David found me bathing
on a rooftop and the cups

of blood in a baby’s body.
Explain why for every element

You give, You must subtract
two others—why

our days are fixed,
our lives discrete,

and every sum Your fist.

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