The Calculation Monster

I found a monster in my backpack

And slammed it on the table

Feeling its thick, red covers and pages

Heavy in my hands – a dangerous weight.

Its open cover yawns like an empty mouth,

Showing white, emotionless pages

With text – little damsels trapped

By angry, deceptive demons known as

Numbers. They slither and snake

Around the pages, mutating together,

Forming treacherous pits of X and Y.

The text dies away, and the demons take control,

Leaping off the page,

Onto my pencil,

Into my mind.

They laugh in evil glee as I calculate,

Solving their tiresome riddles time and again

Pointlessly plotting innocent dots in gridpaper cages,

Only to skewer them on wicked lines –

A stick sharpened at both ends

That serves as an offer to the hungry demons,

Who quickly tire of Y's

And X's,

And negatives,

And me.

There: the answer is wrong,

My calculations incorrect,

But I've satiated the monster known as algebra –

At least, for now.