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I want to talk about threats
How they are currency in the cafeteria, exchanged for chortles
How they are supposedly illegal but are still whispered in clusters
I want to talk about “Jokes”


I want to talk about fear
How it wells up in the base of your throat when you drive into the potholed parking lot
How it winds through dreams until you awake screaming for help that won’t come
I want to talk about nightmares


I want to talk about murders
How they can destroy without a knife or a cold steel gun
How they can steal a mind and never grant it freedom
I want to talk about evil


I want to talk about the silence that stills the room when “that girl” walks in
How she doesn’t look up, just hunches in the back desk with her homework
How the teacher tells the class to partner up, watches everyone turn from her
I want to talk about teachers who cast a blind eye


I want to talk about the burn of vomit in the middle of the night thinking about the morning
I want to talk about the face turned away, burned by tears
I want to talk about the headphones to cancel out the whispers all around
I want to talk about the shaky pep talks given in front of the school doors each morning
I want to talk about the waft of a certain perfume that can send tremors down a spine


I want to talk about the friends that simply fade away
No one knows how lonely it is
With only the wind behind you


I want to talk about the girl who’s afraid to go to the bathroom because she doesn’t know what
will happen if she’s not alone
I want to talk about the kid who needs a safe place in the school to escape the jeers and the
repetition of their name over and over
I want to talk about the ones who speak up but are told “You’re blowing it out of proportion” and “It
isn’t that bad”
I want to talk about kids who are afraid of the one place they are supposed to be safe


I want to talk about kids who used to be so bright but have gone so dark inside
That even if you wanted to
You couldn’t find the light switch to turn them back on


I want to talk about survival.




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