Sweaty-palmed half-truths: I know better than to duck my head.

But he wraps dandelion stems around my finger and spends his white seed wishes on the sanctity of my soul.



I can’t see through his semen.

My eyes are not in the craters of my tongue but on the soles of my feet:

The rhythmic blackouts of steady progress.

Forward motion.

I know too much of puddles and sand and the second hand smoke I sucked from his breath the first time he kissed me slow and weighed my worth against the worth of the world.


I balance quarters on my eyelids and

it feels like cucumbers:

The thick death of sleep and inhibitions, I crawl

from the body bags beneath my eyes and

the light is sharp and loud is


most of never

never ends and

ever dies with sleep, with

his voice like the constant hum of fluorescent classroom lights-

like the constant whir of ceiling fans and and-



Annie Loucka
Age 15, Grade 10
Bard high School Early College

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