“I’m Crying in Logic Class (Again)”

Danielle Kotrla

The first time this happens,

The professor is working a problem

I could not solve at 2:30 this morning.

He is explaining the simplicity of function,

And, it is at this moment

That my body has burst into pain.


As I watch him erase the whiteboard,

I feel my concentration bleeding through the lines on my notebook paper.


When he and I are talking later the next week,

He says, “I thought you were simply

Overwhelmed by the joy

Logic brings to the heart.”


I tell him that joy is no longer

Born for me like this—

Like fears dismissed by word and simple explanation, but

I still wish for it;

Still pray quietly in places where I cannot hear myself doing so.


Today, I am in class again,

When I am told of the passing of a friend.

I stare at blank definitions,

And I determine that this is epiphany—

Knowing that the words are gone but not knowing where,

Not knowing when they will be coming home.


So, I phone them,

But the call goes straight to voicemail,

Straight to “not available now, but

Try again later.”


I spend the next hour redialing,

Leaving the same voicemail

And losing track of one word each time.


Please call me back.

Please call back.

Please call.



When I am finally put on hold,

I can only stutter through the request

That I do not cry again in my logic class.


I do this with the knowledge

That my time in that place will end shortly.

I do this with the knowledge

That I will cry once more at an indeterminate date.


Maybe this; this short-sighted,

Lack of perception of the future

Is dangling my body off a cliff

While hanging on with my teeth.

Perhaps this is biting my tongue so hard

It falls off into permanent silence.


Maybe this linear movement from point A to B

Causes me to lose my hold

On any tangible form of closure.


I know that I will leave this class for the last time

In five days,

And I will fall back into a world

That does not strip my emotions

To implications and inferences.


This is the romantic world I have once loved

And will die in one day.


I will one day be found functioning

From heart to mouth to tongue,

And I will be told the sense of logical thought

Has all but disappeared from my voice.


I will tell them that this is euphoric,

This is true enlightenment—

All angels and singing.

I will say that this,

This has been validity of purpose all along.

Poetry arrangement by Danielle Kotrla

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