The piano sheds crystal tears,
Mined for its treasure with each
Step of the fingers that
Are brought down
Like rain that pelts
Black coats and white umbrellas.
A wailing voice scratches
Soaks into velvet seats,
And explores the ocean’s depths
The sun flickers
And the pianist charges
Across dark spaces and bright enamel
Of the teeth
With tools of flesh at his disposal
Daring to fill
The hearts of those
Who stop and listen
Staring at the false wooden grain of the table.
The guy next to me groans as the teacher’s pet
Gives a verbose answer
For something that could be much simpler.
This is the third time
That my neighbor expresses
His displeasure under his breath.
I shrug—at least someone gave a response
That fractured this heavy silence.
Another question is put onto the table.
A few give blank stares.
Crinkling disturbs the quiet as a person pulls out
Something edible smelling of vanilla.
Girls gossip in the corner in hushed tones
Sharing no concern for the lesson
While the few students who actually study refrain from giving an answer,
Afraid that it’s wrong.
And sacrifice myself
Like Katniss, where volunteering
Does not guarantee my safety.
In no rush
I raise my hand.
Ehhhh, that’s not exactly it. Anyone else?
A spear pierces me
But I keep my cool,
Shrugging it off
Because getting an answer wrong is not the end of the world.
Charlie the stuffed bear sits on a
Wooden chair in the corner of Lucy’s room.
Lucy claims that it’s his throne, and that he’s the
King of lollipop trees and candy corn.
Sitting at her table that’s missing a leg
She insists on having tea with the fair king of
The bear’s head lolls to the side,
Denying her company
But, she says
As she clutches her mom’s hand
He ends up taking a sip!
And is soon overcome by
A fit of giggles and a
Before Lucy goes to bed
She kisses Charlie goodnight
On his head
Then squeezes him with all her might
The bear watches her
A vigilant guardian
Whose eyes are affixed
To the sight
Of the body that goes still
Through the night