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You Cannot Divide By Zero

Amy Jarvis

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or multiply something out of nothing. I am

hospital-gowned & raging. this is not a

memoriam. I have been 

collected in test tubes & put on trial for crying wolf. This summer,

I was searched for tumors. I imagined my head was

swarmed with locusts that web up & calcify. The MRI 

machine whirred & clicked as it encircled my head—an

alien wreath. I used to wish for the power of invisibility 

before this body was subtracted & rendered unprovable. 

The needle stuck into flesh four times before it found

vein. I wish there was a word for the overlap

of violet & violence—how wicked you become 

when you start praying for something worse. When I 

faint & fall, my whole body rearranges variables. I crack 

my neck in the tube as it threatens to capsize. No one knows

how to search for something that has no proof—this is a 

scientific certainty. It doesn’t matter how loud the howls are, 

if there is no evidence, the validity disappears. I wish to be

flickered out of existence & the room thunders louder. The 

results show no sign of something alien as my whole body 

continues to defamiliarize itself from me. I stare in the mirror

like focus will unveil illness’s ulterior motive & try to remember

a mass is not something to pray towards. Meanwhile, every test 

comes back negative & my mother reminds me this is something

to be thankful for. 

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