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Issue 2.3    December 2020

graphic image of industrial building

Audio: Nazeefa Ahmed reads

Mathematics: try and

calculate me. Determine  

the set values of my 



Mathematics: solve algebraically, 

the coordinates forming my 

parabolic anatomy.


Mathematics: prove me

with your trig identities, and 

try to figure out

the complexity of my 



Mathematics: follow your

order of operations, your

methodical foundations, and 

place a definition beside 

my identity.


You, derive logic from chaos, and 

reason from digits,

find limits contained in one-tenth of a minute;

angles from slopes, and

side lengths from tangents.


your obsession with accuracy, your

perfectionist mentality,

fails to interpret the vastness of 

my personality.


You, look at me 

with frustration, only seeing an

unsolved equation, so

you restrict my domains, and 

quantify my range, and 

graph my inequality so 

my values may never change, and 

bound my beauty between greater than and less than;

you look at me and see someone to solve, to prove, to sketch, and

you try to classify my incongruities 

by using probability to predict my inconsistencies.

You may illustrate and extrapolate,

and verify after you evaluate,

but your rational mind can’t stretch far enough

to reach 

my infinity.


You, desperately try to explain,

where my parabola is on your Cartesian Plane, but  

Mathematics, I 

am still the unsolved variable to your 

erroneous equation,

my solutions having

no constant definition.


Mathematics, my values are beautifully miscellaneous

but you just call them extraneous, because you

fail to understand that my beauty wasn’t planned. 

It can’t be plotted point by point on your stern command.  

Your maximums and minimums will not sway where I stand.


Mathematics, you 

describe me by rearranging digits from zero to nine, but 

the square of my values blows up your calculator every time.

With the real number system,

I cannot be confined.


Mathematics, you may try to

bound me in a right-angled triangle with

ninety-degree vision, and

Pythagorean precision, but

a² and b²will never equal c²  

because the hypotenuse 



and points, telling me 

that I require no proof to become an identity, 

that I am unpredictable, thriving in my spontaneity, 

that my beauty is too massive for you to try and

calculate me.


So mathematics,

please try,

and calculate me.

Nazeefa Ahmed, age 17, is a high school creative writer and spoken-word artist who loves the art of written language more than life itself. She is a child of Bangladeshi immigrants currently living in the snow and slush of Calgary, Alberta. This piece represents her logical and emotional personalities and her attempt at reconciling these two extremes.

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