3.95

if i could write a book on all the things that i’ve seen go sour in the center of my high school

you’d get papercuts from trying to turn all the pages

my voice would become hoarse from trying to read the words aloud

you would tell me to come back tomorrow because i’d be wasting your time

if a high school student slips under the surface and they still have all a’s, do they make a sound?

 

if i could write a book on all the students i’ve seen go sour in the basement classrooms of my high school

i wouldn’t say names

i’d say situations

pregnant homeless depressed destroyed out on the streets no good raped alone spends the evenings counting the cuts on his wrist

hopeless fading no friends no money no future was college bound but burned her own bridges desperate lonely addicted to the things about himself he can no longer control

more often than not you can tell which hand a person writes with by reading their scars

not to say they don’t try

but more often than not their slope is more slippery than anyone can understand their lives are not graded by letters on a computer screen but by how grateful they are to be alive in the morning

 

if i told all this to my teachers

they would understand

in their own way, nodding their heads as if to say they’ve seen it all

and maybe they have, but this fire that’s burning at the heels of these kids that crowd like sheep in the hallways seems alien

i’ve seen more self-destructive faces than in a prison documentary on the way to first period i’ve seen hell in the smile of a friend i’ve seen that fire burning slowly up my hands

if i told all this to my teachers

they would understand

but there are things you cannot say to make them see the whole picture they are trained to see over the heads of those that fall in favor of the ones who can make it out

if a high school student screams in the middle of a hallway, do they make a sound?

 

i have been filling out scholarship applications

i am asked to define myself by the numbers that report back my self worth

grade point average social security family income sat act scores class rank class size they ask you who you are but “1-9 characters only” please try again

i am worth more than these numbers on a 4.0 scale i am more than the 9 digits of my social security i am not 1-9 or a-z i am 100 percent h-u-m-a-n

my access to my future shouldn’t be a safe where i am the dial wasting my time trying to find the right combinations

my eligibility to become something shouldn’t come after a “3-point”

 

if i could write a book on how many times my anxieties have been invalidated in my high school

it would not be in words that i would show how i was affected

but in blank pages

 

five classes and five different workloads five universities in question and 500 scholarships so i can make 5000 to go to a school whose tuition is more than the sum of all these numbers

friendships failing confidence flatlining and uncertainty and terror renaming me atlas, i hope you’ll understand why sometimes i can only say that “it’s hard”

and i just want you to know, even though sometimes i feel like i’m lost in the dry-erase stains on the whiteboard, that i am trying

that even though i do make a sound it’s only too easy for me to fall silent

we are all trying

we are all scared and confused afraid of slipping through the cracks fighting home lives that shrivel and relationships that combust

our demons come knocking and sometimes it’s hard to remember to tell them no

so it becomes your job to remember that our lives and high school are not direct bloodstreams

you can make the separation clean or we’re going to do it ourselves and believe me, it will get messy

we are more than the crumpled up math homework at the bottom of our backpack and the college essay we turned in 2 hours too late, we are not a summation of a presentation that didn’t match your opinion

we are trying

 

if i could write a book, the first line would be that there are 26 letters in the alphabet and A, B, C, and F don’t spell a fucking thing

 

Comments

camilleferg

im in love with this. amazing!

sandybustillos

I tend to skip to the end of things I read because I like to know how it all ends before I get attached... weird I know--but, I relate so much to this poem more so than I ever thought I would. I would always hear the seniors complaining and moaning about applying to scholarships and colleges, and as a freshman I was sure glad that I didn't have to deal with that. But time creeped on me faster than I could say 'wait' and I'm here now, filling in the past senior's shoes. So, I'm really glad you put down in words exactly how I feel and have been feeling for the last couple of months. (The ending pulled me in.)

ritzbitz99

Oh my goodness this this this 1000 times this!!!!!!

KatieHastie

This is amazing.  And you ended it perfectly.  That last line was a super strong ending.

CH

God damn it. This is so relatable and that's what makes this so bitter and awesome at the same time. 

kmlara1221

Oh sh*t

 

I have nothing else to say

Amber Mahogany

When I first read the title I just kinda loooked at it and whent 'huh'.

Now every time I see the numbers, I feak out be cause THIS WAS BEAUTIFUL,

Keep Writing!!!!!!

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