Even Dogs know Arithmetic by David Kunkel

Mario has duped

me into believing everything

is art. Despite my insistence

about the strength of

his arguments—pencils

incorporating design decisions

mulled over as consciously

as candy wrappers, devoted

hours sunk into imported

iPhone casings and, under them,

batteries, microchips below

that, from executives

to sweatshops—I can’t say

for sure he wasn’t

making fun of me.




I find it funny my friends

require derivatives before

walking to the beach. Even sober

I can’t do math. And what does

calculus have to do with

my ability to find my way home?




And also, at this point

in my life, I assume that people

are on the same page. Adults,

I mean. Consider telling a coworker

you dreamed about him,

all in good fun, only for him to pull

you aside later in the day:

“Stop telling everyone

I died in a plane crash and you

kept forgetting.”


David Kunkel received Boston College’s Arts Achievement Award for his poetry and fiction. His writing has appeared in Poetry Quarterly, Bird’s Thumb, Eclectica, Literary Juice, Rumble Fish Quarterly, and plain china. He grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and currently lives in