POEM XIV: “EIGHTH PERIOD”

There are only so many ways to sit in a plastic chair
and students have invented all of them.

This one, here, has knotted himself into a bow
around the legs of his cracked and squeaking chair
and is busy trying to grind his knuckles
into his cheek.

His face is a wad
of fear and anxiety and rage
and if you get too close, he’ll tap his pencil faster
in tiny, tightly controlled alarm.

Only he knows that in his head,
he’s vaulting through canyons of light
flying like a squirrel
grasping at trees with his toes
refreshing his lungs with the new green air
of a world free from you.

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