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anxiety attack This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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as a kindergartner,
i didn't see a man on the arts-and-crafts table.
i didn't see him covered in a white sheet, excluding the face,
which at the time was
being stuffed with bent pipe cleaners
to shape his cheekbones before the skin
was pulled tight over.

nine years later,
i didn't hear a bomb detonating in german class
which nests on the second story of the school.
heat didn't turn the air white
and i wasn't screaming in place, or thinking that
us is poor folks – the ones who try to run out that there window
cuz we know arr feet won't touch the ground.

later that day,
i wasn't too late to file out,
the buses weren't pulling out of their slots
like used gun clips, i didn't prop my arms perpendicular to the horizon
to make myself wider,
so i wouldn't get hit.

i don't know how you split it,
but the two timelines of my life are
when i thought of “laced” as a pretty word
and when i did not.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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