in high school my mother

would yell at me in the mornings.

i would wake up hours later,

unable to remember.

i walked to school once, shaking.


wanting to break down and cry.

someone else took over that day,

and i don't remember another argument

like that one.

in chemistry my teacher had me

stay after to 'do work'.

i rubbed the back of my hand

with a rubber eraser

until i bled.

that was high school for me:


and hoped-for mercy.