The Numbers

I don’t have paper in my hands or my pockets but these people… they let me have whatever I want because I have imaginary numbers.

I put my piece of plastic and magnets in their plastic magnet machine and it says,

“Yes. She is worthy of the thing. Give it to her now.”

They hand me the thing. It’s mine now.

The plastic metal viewing machine says that I have 4,563 numbers left before I run out of numbers and then they won’t let me have the thing anymore.

They gave me the numbers when I filled out the form. I told them the name for my face was Charlotte and they said, “You are 6,000 numbers.”

Sometimes I do things and people give me more numbers.

Sometimes they get mad at me because they don’t have as many numbers as I ask for.

I wonder how many numbers I’m worth if I just stay put, do nothing and rest.

My daughter wonders how I put numbers in the bank and how paper turns to plastic and plastic to symbols on a screen and then into the cookie I promised her if she didn’t touch anything while we were grocery shopping.

My daughter wonders why sometimes Mama doesn’t have enough numbers to get the cookie… or the groceries.

I tell her she exists between one and zero and that the numbers there don’t come apart. I tell her about infinity and how she springs again and again from the well of information that is stillness in her heart.

I tell her that by the time her age reaches the number of mine, that no one will count numbers for cookies. That her heart will be enough. That her heart is enough.

I tell her to plan for the fall of Capitalism, that imaginary numbers won’t last. I tell her that I don’t know who gives us all the numbers but that we are taking them back. That we are between one and zero. That we are the space between the numbers and that there is no space between the numbers and she asks…

for the cookie in my hand.