The moments after childhood are a head atop a neck,
A pivot joint.
I say so because this wasn’t what I saw on the boat deck,
No return is visible from this turning point.
No longer is enjoyment associated with recess,
That which is now replaced with the library promising success.
And when illustrated books,
Were deemed to be nothing but wisdom-less words hiding beneath good looks.
And like the illiterate Charlemagne stuffing his pillowcases with books,
Too many nights, I slept on Calibri text on the glossy pages of textbooks.
I have a memory,
My past joy shouldn’t seem so extrasensory.
Yet at the time, it seemed nothing out of the ordinary.
I felt how I felt even though my parents weren’t strangers to bickering,
And even though toward each other, they had such belligerence.
Was my childhood’s biggest highlight ignorance?
I am disregarded
Your vile eyes gloss over my body and label me victim
Your spiteful intentions scald my skin as you target me speechlessly
I am a apparition
Treading on what is identical to Hell's surface
I beseech God to forsake me and let me perish in the authentic blaze
I am unfit for the toil, the betrayal is worrisome, and my frail heart is left in shambles
I am puzzled by the way you dislodged those malicious words from the pits of your repulsive throat and slung them at me
All your transgressions are in vain
but you and your friends cackle like witches
I am sorry my exterior is a rarity
My hair is brown like the Earth's dirt and the roots growing from them have culture
I am so sorry that my body is a precious temple
petite and dainty while yours is filled with sin and ego
They drew tiny sketches
On eachother journals
Ignoring the video
In my 8th period spanish class
No words where even spoken between them
Just side eye glances and smiles
I gave then disappointing glares
To get back to the lesson
They rolled their eyes
And got back to the notes
Who would guess
Such a small moment
Would be the last they had together
Before the man in a mask walked in
And stole their childhood
With the pull of a trigger
Maybe if I had known
I would have let him keep making her laugh
For her last time
once you graduate high school
you see people for who they
people change and
sometimes not for the better
your best friend is now your
the person who intimidated you
is now one of your friends
the boy you had a crush on
is now irrelevant
some people enter high school
with tons of friends
and leave with a few friends
others enter high school
with a few friends
and leave with none at all
- my high school experience
I first saw John sitting in the third desk of the first row.
I sat in the second, my new jeans cracking,
No curling iron-on patches as of yet.
A pin from my baby blue shirt pricked my neck.
I stepped in red ball Jets, before the soles became flapping tongues,
And the insignia peeled from the ankles.
Our well-used, wooden desks had pull-out drawers for stuff,
And always in need of re-arranging.
We invited our Guardian Angels to sit there, on the wooden drawer.
John sat, with black-rimmed glasses, on his pull out,
Graciously giving up the well-worn seat for his angel.
I liked him already.
His specs fit my sight. I could see the alphabet above the blackboard.
My first friend. Not a brother or sister. Someone who heard me.
Someone I listened to.
He was the oldest of six.
Had grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins in Canada.
He had instinct. Knew my lacking, shared his relations.
We studied the Catechism, had Confessions, First Communion, altar duties, patrol boy corners, sports, jerks and girls.
We learned to smoke and drink, drive and thrive.
We were Best Men, fathers and grandfathers.
I am not eulogizing John,
But celebrating while alive.
If all goes well,
I'll die before losing him.
Why would I do that
To my life long friend.
Elaine sits in class;
the teacher is writing on the board,
the white chalk on black board.
John smiled at me on the bus.
It thrilled me that he did.
My sister didn't see.
Well if she did she didn't say
and she would have done I know.
My own smile to hold in my head
and remember forever and a day.
The fuss about him and me
has died down since my sister blabbed
about him kissing me that Sunday.
He kissed me before that. At school.
Just out of the blue.
Elaine picks up her pen
and writes in her exercise book
what is written on the board.
The teacher stands facing the class.
He looks pleased with himself.
The pen nib isn't much good.
It blobs. She dabs it with blotting paper.
I dreamed of him last night.
John kissed me. He was in my room.
My sister was asleep. He was in my room
standing by the door. He blew me a kiss.
Mum was annoyed that he came last Sunday.
As if I had planned it. Don't you do anything she said.
Do any what? He kissed me. Warm kiss.
The pen blobs again. Damn it.
She dabs at it with blotting paper.
When he kissed me I felt funny inside.
My mind seems elsewhere. I love him. I don't care.