• Xanadu Literary Magazine

Melissa Shaiman

The Human Algorithm

How do I measure the worth of my life?

Is it by the music I play?

Is it by the bouts I win?

Is it by the scores I receive?

Contributions to society I feel the eyes on me

Of all the people I know. All who I step up in front of. All who I get up in front of.

Because I need to prove myself?

Is it enough to simply be?

Measured by the love in my heart, what quantity?

Measured by the people I help, what number?

Do I need to outweigh the nonexistent stain

On my being from existing in this competition repetition of the

Same grueling game get ahead get ahead only to reach the end

It's killing me only to be

Measured by the money to my name?

Measured by my success and my fame?

I love my life and what I do but Do

I need to be measured by its fruition? Judged for its failure?

Am I measured by the words I write?

Can the musings of the mind be quantified?

Tell me what is the numeric value, to be worthy?

Can I be calculated?

My own stamp of infinity,

Plugged into some grand human algorithm written by G-d? Written by the Devil?

It's always "Compared to him," "Compared to her," but we don't know anyone.

There are too many missing variables.

If you try to put me in a measuring glass, I won't try to race around your clock.

I will race to my own horizon.

I will try to sit back, and listen to the music

To smile, while the sun still runs its cycle. For me.

So beautifully

To breathe, and enjoy my own personal symphony

While the curtain is still raised.

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