Solve for Why by Adilyah Taller

Jul 3, 2023


Numbers make sense to me, 
they always have

Solve for Z
Solve for X
Solve for Y

With numbers there is always a solution,
an answer,
a clear right
and wrong,
an obvious black
and white

Black and white 
on black and white 
with black and white 
and no 
or if, 
or how,
because there are no uncertainties

With numbers,
everything is absolute
There’s no room to debate,
because to debate
is to wonder,
and there is no wondering with numbers,
there is only solving

Solve for Z
Solve for X
Solve for Y

Y, y, why
is what I find myself asking in my life
Why is my mom manipulative?
Why did my father get cancer?
Why am I writing, 
why am I wondering, 
why am I here, and 
why do I even ask? 
Because there is no answer
In life, there is no answer
It’s all irrational numbers 
and unknown variables 
and no way to solve 
for Y

I can’t add a father back into my life
but I can add percentages
I can’t solve the problem of my life
but I can solve equations

Solve for Z
Solve for X
Solve for Y

After all, who wouldn’t rather
fractions over fractures?
One number on top of the other
over cracks in a mirror 
that’s supposed to reflect yourself

But instead, reflects
chocolate-brown eyes
stolen from a father
whose life was stolen away

But instead, reflects
a face tearstained 
and swollen,
a weak child
you don’t even recognize

But instead, reflects
bits and pieces
of a broken daughter,
a lost little girl

Who wouldn’t rather
counting over cancer?
Or algebra over anxiety?

Numbers work 
Life doesn’t
Solve for Y

Adilyah Taller has loved writing and reading from a young age, using 26 letters strung together in different formations to create worlds and ideas. As you can see in this poem, she also loves math, as well as music. When she’s not writing amazing poetry, she’s normally reading or playing piano, trying to soak up the most of life.

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