Paper Buildings | Teen Ink

Paper Buildings

November 13, 2019
By kevingucci BRONZE, Hopkinton, Massachusetts
kevingucci BRONZE, Hopkinton, Massachusetts
2 articles 1 photo 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The darkest nights produce the brightest stars."

stacks of inked papers pile high up

in my messy, wooden home,

shuddering from the weight

of its unstable foundation


paper houses and paper towns

loom over me to 

engulf the dusty, cracking

ground scattered in broken

pencil tips

and crumpled sticky notes


layered high 

like sheets of linen that stay tucked

away in molding closets,

I race away from endless 

paper buildings 

that collapse and fall

and drown me in cuts 

of blood 

and ink 


and stress

and a mess

of nothing



Thursdays and Fridays

don’t mean anything to me

when I can’t seem to 

to see anything else

but the stacks of documents

that leer over

my shaking shoulders 


I punched a hole in my wall

the other day 

all for an equation

that wouldn’t untangle

in my tired brain—

plaster fell through 

cardboard walls

and my hand came out bleeding,

from paper cuts


all those paper buildings,

constructed high enough

to block out the sky—

for nothing but 

a single letter that determines

who I am now

and who I will



paper cities

suffocate me

until my lungs tighten

from the unknowns

of another day;

candles that

flicker in dark ink stains

try to make sense of

velvety thoughts

that won’t stop



And nothing seems to

wake me up again

from my sleep-deprived

mind as

paper sheets rain

down from the sky,

blocking me from

dreaming about the

sights I’ll 


get to see.

The author's comments:

One day, I had just finished taking a math quiz and I utterly bombed it. I didn't know the answers to half of the questions. I finished the school day, painfully, and went home. And then I realized I still had hours of homework to complete. It was honestly a really bad day. I wrote this poem out of frustration and I hope it resonates with other students who have to balance academics with their busy schedule.

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