How To Be, Trapped By Honeycombs, Incandescent Falsehoods, Alien She, What Makes Us Girls

“How To Be”
I don’t know who I am
Or how to be who I want to be.
Because first I need to learn how to be.
I want to be the graceful ballet dancer
Who is defined by the staccato notes that
Are the soundtrack to her ethereal movements.
I want to be the dark soul who
Paints her lips black and sashays down the hall
In her floor-length trench coat
Her cynical tongue lashing out in an attempt of
Natural selection
Survival of the fittest.
I want to be the nostalgic nymph
Whose dresses wrap around the world
And whose brain wraps around communist manifestos
And scientific theories.
I want to be the prodigy, the whiz kid
My languid fingers sweeping across guitar strings
And psychedelic, nonsensical words dancing
Across my lips.
I want to be it all, wrapped up in one sense
The three-dimensional mademoiselle.

“Trapped By Honeycombs”
Her name is called, not once, but twice
And she stands there, waiting, for the sticky, punitive voice
To touch her ears again
But the people around her aren’t focused on her or her seemingly apparent misperception
So she continues on, wondering while wandering with wanderlust

The angry crimson honeycombs
Grab at her and begin to strangle her ankles
And as she screams for help, her echoes mingle with the sky’s tears
And after her eyelids shudder and close, she opens them again
And after breaking out of the darkness, everything is bright again

She yells a silent protest at something, anything
Walking even faster now, contorting her face into a mask of normalcy
The concrete begins to swallow her but leaves the rest behind
Screams that never leave her mind seep out of her in whispers
As the split in the world heals, she realizes that no one else felt the change

Suddenly, bellicose waves flood her
And she doesn’t know whether to
Walk, run, scream, shout, live, die
But she’s built into the structure of the world
She doesn’t know how to do anything but stand there
And wait for the ticking timer to hit a frightening end

“Incandescent Falsehoods”
I want to scream at all of those
Who watch the world through their
Welding goggles, safe from all harm
And flying sparks that sizzle when
They hit flesh
And leave marks that
Last a lifetime
But there is a feeling
That loafs around
That I am one of those people

“Alien She”
I want you to wipe the sleep
From my eyes
And pour it into my morning coffee
The bittersweet taste burning my
Sharp tongue
In between rises of your heaving bosom
The static of the television in the next room
A soundtrack to the glances that we so
Gracefully and slyly exchange
Your lips produce smoke rings that
Gently kiss the air
Ashes falling and cars outside stalling

“What Makes Us Girls”
The rusty smell of a first period
Memorizing the lyrics of “Rebel Girl”
Sloppy first kisses and wandering hands
Wondering while wandering with wanderlust
This is what makes us girls

Finding out what “down there” means
Passing notes and laughing in physical education
Lining our eyes with the black kohl of Cleopatra
Forming our own silent riots
This is what makes us girls

Britney Franco, Age 13, Grade 8, Mark Twain I.S. 239 for the Gifted and Talented, Gold Key

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