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hey you

yes you

my thumbs are just angry, i’m really sorry they have to pound your face

l i k e  t h i s .

i mean i’ll probably get osteoarthritis or whatever (not that

i looked up the long-term effects of smartphone overuse)

but who cares right? listen

it’s just that being here is


being here makes me feel so


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cursed classroom is swelteringly hot

it reeks of sweat and sick and gross

it’s as if i’m

wearing someone else’s sweater and

germs that aren’t mine are s p r e a d i n g a c r o s s m y s k i n

yet that is not the reason why i seclude myself from the other students and sit in the back,

in the seat


from the rest

why? i don’t know, okay?

i don’t know why i’m not

engaging in conversation or

participating in discussions

it’s not like these things matter

my social rank is not predetermined; i still have class

i think

i mean it’s just school; i can still be cool and sophisticated

i think


oh shut up

who am i kidding

[caps lock]


[caps lock]


sorry to be blunt but this is

not my home

one could say that this desert state is in a decent state

but it is everything you’d imagine it to be

ugly dry brown


sometimes i close my eyes and think

of the beaches from which i came,

of my true home from which i moved away

cold waves against my legs

cool sand beneath my toes

the smell of salt up my nose

do you know

what happens when you uproot a tree from the ground it has known for so long?

neither do i.

roots cannot cling to the sand of the desert.


time check.

is it 3:30 yet?

this period ends the school day and this next period will end my sentence

and what exactly is my sentence for not interacting with my tablemate?

nonexistent. listen with me--


“oh my gosh her ex just asked me out on a date”

“comment an emoji for a tbh and rate”

materialistic egoistic narcissistic


my old friends didn’t talk like that


we shared a most genuine camaraderie

and every day:

the kind of laughter that erupts from deep within

the kind of smile that starts from the eyes and stretches from cheek to cheek


“my wage is my excuse for my rage”

“here are three projects (that i won’t grade)”


my old teachers didn’t talk like that


they opened doors to dreams i could chase after

and taught me to be patient in all my endeavors

“be bold! take risks!” they said

they taught me how to take a stance





“be bold!” “take risks!” they said

they taught me how to take a stance


hey you

yes you

i think i’m just lonely, i should stop treating you

like this.

like you’re a person

when all you do is

stare at me blankly and

silently store the letters my thumbs press on your face


how could i forget the words that held me

big girls don’t cry

the way i hold you when i feel this way

big girls don’t cry

the words i took for granted in the midst of my bliss

big girls don’t cry


my friends still write me letters

and they text me often too.

hold on, stay there, i’ll show you--

they're saved in my messages

here, look.


“you're a shining star, you know that right?”

“you'll do great things. we'll miss you”


time check.


late night thoughts in the afternoon eh?

it’s true anyway

that this city looks like a flatland of barren, parched earth

but this vast timeless place hides beauty well.

when i first moved here i thought

i would not survive

for after all, nothing survives in the desert

[caps lock]



[caps lock]


if they were here

they’d like to see me doing so

i am here

and i’d like to see me doing so.

i will love this pain the way it loves me

i will embrace it

arms open, face beaming

for i am no longer a child

that says “boo-hoo” at every boo boo.

pain becomes joy

for i rejoice in the trials i grow in


a tree uprooted is still a tree


i will stand proud

hold strong, have grace

and bear the sweetest fruits

i am a tree

i will branch out

reach for the sky

remember my roots.


change brings change brings change brings growth.


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