meghan b. malachi

You can now use up to one million rows
of cells on your spreadsheet. Allegedly.
I once uploaded a file with five hundred thousand
rows of names and Excel spit up
the last three thousand before deciding
to self-destruct.
I never wondered much about the columns—
the rows with an edge, the backbone
of that terribly structured slump:
are buckets for data points,
ceilings for infinity,
scaffolds for poets.
That’s sixteen point four billion cells
of investment allocations,
admission in numbers,
grim stock.
I recall a night when my mother
scratched my bare back
and each stroke appeared to drag
the cursor’s brain
across and down
empty cells that never
seemed to end.

Meghan B. Malachi is a data analyst and poet from the Bronx, NY. Her work is published or forthcoming in Fresh Air Poetry, Milly Magazine, Hispanecdotes, giallo lit, Writers With Attitude, and The Honey Mag. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.