United States

23 neurotic crows in a recycled flesh suit
he/him || 17 || intp-t || lgbtq+
prosaic poet & sci-fantasy fiction writer
community ambassador alum [summer 2020]

standing in solidarity with those angry

[untitled exercise in trauma #1]

July 1, 2020


The halls are empty and gaping when I walk through, dragging my fingers along the grey cinder block walls. This will be the last time I do this, the last time I peer into classrooms and remember what I did in them, the last time I read the writing on my creative writing teacher’s walls and desks, from students past. I wrote on them earlier, with a fat sharpie I found on top of a cabinet, along with a strange pointer with a hand on the end and a second-place trophy for a pumpkin carving contest from 1983. I have been cleaning all week, packing books into boxes, going through my chemistry teacher’s old papers, going through lab materials and rolling beakers and erlenmeyer flasks in pages from science supply catalogues. I have watched my school be gutted, life sucked out, but there are still traces left. My handprint is painted on the wall of my biology teacher’s room, a marker of my high grades from last year, as is a message I wrote on the shelf in my creative writing teacher's room. I realise I am now a "student past" to this place, even though I am just now a sophomore. 

I keep walking, past an empty supply closet I also cleaned out, past my old locker, past the bathroom where a burst pipe is flooding the floor, and stand in the stairwell. From the window, I can see it - the heap of charred, still-smoking wood and brick across the street. Someone is taking a picture, tilting their phone camera just so to get the letters tacked to this building in the shot. It is what will be called “that photo,” the one that everyone has, but no one will talk about again. 

There is a lump in my throat. 

Later, I will climb on the amphitheatre stage and jump off. Later, I will not stick that landing and roll in the grass, and I will remember what it looked like to lie on that stage and look up at the sky through black-polymer glasses, watching the sun disappear. Later, I will climb back up and put two chairs next to each other and stand on both, looking out for the last time over the parking lot, and for months after, I will look at those two chairs each time I pass the school on the interstate, until they are inevitably gone, just like how the pile of rubble will also be inevitably gone, like I will be inevitably gone from this place.

But now, I stand at the window, pull out my phone, and take my version of “that photo.” And I hang on to the railing, clinging to a past I don’t want to leave.
this is not something i thought would be difficult to write but i am often wrong. 


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  • July 1, 2020 - 7:51am (Now Viewing)

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