This is the start of a very long poem.
I. Thisbe in Mrs. Faber’s First Grade Class
The felt bleeds, I know I can see it. Inky fingerprints. It must hurt the markers! For me to color, they give what Crayola gave them.
But the factory made each marker for a purpose. So one must feel good when I use it, the friction drawing out juice. And it must like my picture—
the wetting and digging and pulling of paper fibers, ink mixing with ink to make the red-orange of Kelly Ridd’s hair.
While sitting in my desk, does a marker ache for use? I should use them all the time! But they expire! And to expire is to die—so they must be in pain. So it is one or the other.
I wish I could just ask them.
I bet I could color my hair the color of Kelly Ridd’s hair.
My desk smells like wet saltines. I could to better at keeping it clean.
I. Olive on the Way Home from the Coffee Shop
I got robbed!
The kind where the asshole confused me behind the till. Twenty for a dollar, three tens for a twenty and a five and five dollars, five for five and ten dollars, no could I have three tens if I give you ten and five dollars. Then it’s a bouquet of paper that smells like salt and later my drawer is twenty short.
The shop is slowly folding. Now I am twenty short. I was already short.
This morning I got two shots in two arms. That was dumb. Idiotic symmetry. Two sets of clumpy muscles. And I lost the quarter inch I grew last summer.
I’ll still tell people I’m five five.
I don’t mean to sound defeated. But now my driver’s license is mostly a lie and I just lost twenty dollars.