He says, and slams his pencil down on the table.
His proverbial desk flipping is as harmless as finger flipping
but he’s not a stick man meme with a turn down mouth
he’s a 280 pound 15-year-old who was in 8th grade twice
his Laie Boys East Side representin’ tattoo is stretched over his pillowy bicep
I want to say, yeah, F this, because I spent last Saturday grading papers
while you went to pounders, sifting in and out of foamy days
I rifled through pages of the internet with click through fingers, trying to doctor a cure for your boredom
while you fell asleep reading the page you were supposed to finish weeks ago
and I worried about you, your weaknesses playing losing games of Life with my anxieties
while you got slapped and filled your cup with obscene insults at home.
You drink them up and talk yourself into a contortionist’s trick.
I find him hiding in one corner of a cheeky smile
which he gives me when I finally say,
my breaths tight against my throat--
after a long teenage audience of silence--
“I’m not sure you’d enjoy that much.”