Equation on the 
Likelihood of Aliens

A poem.

N does not equal
the stress dream of orcas and humpback whales
breaching in a stormy bronze sea
nor their careening downwards
nor the pseudo dream of a hot-air balloon
seen from the highway on the way
to your parents’ house
being birthed from the haze of the hills.
It’s not the soft-headed babies of your friends,
nor the soft-worded birth announcements,
nor the number of babies born
per second, nor the times
at which those babies
came to be. It’s not
the pumpkin-pie candle scent
of your childhood home, the slightly
garbage-ridden scent of your own,
the white paper bags that hug the apples
on the trees in the park.
It’s not the likelihood that on a Sunday
alone you can watch a livestream
of a man with chronic hiccups
and somehow feel less lonely;
it’s how long you can watch it
before realizing
he can’t hear you
gasping back.