Tomorrow is the sixth anniversary
Of the first day
Of the three days
Of the end of my life.

I’m not superstitious
Numbers are arbitrary
Time is an invention
That knocking? Is just a wooden habit

I don’t like the number
Black cats and broken mirrors
My face broke and the mirror
Never lost its glaze

Thirteen is too round for me
It’s the three. I don’t like round
Numbers or even numbers
Only odd numbers with
Interesting angles
The more angles, the stronger
The structure

The numbers are shapes and
Colors and tastes and textures
My synesthesia may or may not
Be individualized. I read an
Article linking the association
Of the color yellow and the number
Three to refrigerator magnets
Stuck to the popular avocado
Refrigerators of my childhood.

So, green is cold. M is red. Thirteen
Combines a number I like,
Straight up and down,
No secrets or lies, first-person
Narrator, one, with one I don’t trust,
the curves of the three,
One atop the other, half a woman

On Friday the thirteenth, I filled
Ziplock bags of ice, packed
My head in them, watched television
While my left eye turned the eights
Into threes, lost track of ones, turned
Tens into nothing.



Tiff Holland is the author of the novella-in-flash “Betty Superman.” Her poetry and prose have appeared in The Mississippi Review, Frigg, Karamu and many other journals.