8 am wakeup call so we can wake up, haul ourselves out of bed,
Like our dreams didn’t satisfy us anyway.
That time, hoping for 8 but really getting only 4 hours where our lashes and cheeks call out to each other.
Now our lids retract, no longer safely containing the cabinets of files our eyes have jotted down.
Those newly awakened pupils guide our drunken hands to caress the faucet hoping that water will come.
Those same drunken hands invite water to the portrait of our faces
Water leaps over our noses like a child in a park. Play on, play on.
We dry off, dress quickly, off on our way to experience the world.
Catch a bus, or a train or a combo of the two.
Other kids with backpacks heading to the same place as you.
To the hole in the wall where men learn and women fix their makeup.
Lashes dance with a mirror thats zoomed in too close, pointing out their imperfections while having a hard time reflecting a simple smile.
I digress, As I make my way to my first class, the rattle of the bell rattles my hands. I wrestle with the knob that’s limiting my next move as if the door and the knob wish to dominate a significant spot in my history.
I make it inside and glance at the last open seat only to meet it in a place of desertion.
I am alone.
I feel the eyes, blue daggers, green blades, and brown arrows.
There’s no point in trying to mask my presence, for they can smell fear.
Then she approaches, this lady whose bullets shoot toward me like missiles to their target.
I cannot move, for they can smell fear.
So I take the bullets head on, no cover.
This time the water on my palate comes from both without and within.
This lady, this lady whose hatred for me speaks in every drop of water that passes through her bitter lips.
Machine gun drops that rain down like an attack I wasn’t ready for.
And she read me, for they can smell fear.
And I let the abuse of the words she would not say constrain me into myself until all that was left at my desk was an abstract painting of what everyone expected me to be.
The dangers of sitting in the front of the classroom… and they wonder why we sit in the back.
-Claytia Gonsalves, Untamed Voices Writer
Image Source: http://essentialeducator.org/?p=9846 (Jazmin G.)