Nicole Caruso Garcia

By the Numbers
February 20, 2020 Garcia Nicole Caruso

By the Numbers

The number of times intuition told me I had dodged
a rape-por-tu-nity is the same as my lucky number.
My class rank in high school is the same
as the age at which I got my first period.

A guy has turned me down for the Sadie Hawkins
dance as many times as I’ve been stung by a bee.
I’ve served detention as many times as I’ve been engaged.
Fainted as often as I’ve given a bully her comeuppance.

Cops have glared their high beams through the steamy
windows of my date’s car as often as I’ve eaten escargot.
I’ve dined on frog legs al fresco as many
times as I’ve had my toes sucked in public.

Vomited out a car window as often as I’ve been mistaken for
a prostitute (or drag queen—some men poorly articulate their questions).
I’ve found a wad of cash on the pavement in Vegas as often as
I’ve found out the hard way that the horse I was riding was afraid of the ocean.

While alone in the house, taking a bath,
the lights have gone out—soapy, naked me
imagining the ax murderer in the basement—
as many times as I’ve been someone’s alibi.

Yeah, I’ve faked orgasm, but only as many times
as I’ve been tracked down by a State Marshal.
The bakery that made my wedding cake burned down
as many times as the tuxedo rental shop burned down.

I’ve gotten lost going in a straight line as often as I’ve stumbled
upon a crime scene before they put up the yellow tape.
I’ve crashed a party as many times as I’ve been in an ambulance.
Been stitched up (planned) as often as I’ve been stitched up (unplanned).

The number of weeks I lasted as a vegetarian equals the number
of baseball bats stashed around my house in case of home invasion.
I’ve gotten a speeding ticket as often as
I’ve told a guy I love you and didn’t mean it.

Nicole Caruso Garcia is Assistant Poetry Editor at Able Muse and a Board member at Poetry by the Sea: A Global Conference. Her most recent poetry and reviews appear in or are forthcoming from Atticus Review, Crab Orchard Review, DIAGRAM, Italian Americana, Light, Measure, Mezzo Cammin, The New Verse News, PANK, The Raintown Review, Rattle, RHINO, and Tupelo Quarterly. Connect with her at