on foolscap paper that we'd crush into a ball and throw from the back to the front of the class when the teacher wasn't looking. all our classmates knew, and she knew we were doing it too, and she knew splitting us up wasn't working, but she closed an eye anyway since we were the top scorers in her class.
big voice goes on like rapid gunfire. there are only so many words per minute one can take. drown it out. in the sterile atmosphere i look over. "i am done with this it's killing me"
jokes and sarcasm and whining
and then you say "hey by the way": a beckoning, a knock on the windowpane: i see that while you're physically in this classroom, you've climbed out of it in your mind, and you're inviting me to join you outside
and i open that window
and a torrent of words rush in, words that wrap around me and hold my hands. we are moths to flame; we singe our wings but it’s okay because maybe, maybe we were made to fly, made to know more than darkness somehow.
but i hate it, i hate these cigarette burns, and i want to gouge my heart out. there and then in the sterile white light i am holding back tears. "i think love is a very scary and painful thing," i blurt out: right there in the classroom the people fade away. you take my gift, you hold it, and you exchange that shred of my heart with a bit of yours, too. right there in the rapid gunfire we dig into the deepest of ourselves and slowly lay out the pieces. we are in another world: our embrace forms a bubble around us. we are back in a little room alone, on the floor, all bare, all broken.