they criticize at me.

saying I am lazy and don't deserve to have

a second chance.

"you should have done the work I assigned"

but they're not there for when the fights get too much

when i sink into the folds of the couch, my parents voices

radiating heat onto the furniture,

melting the faces off of the kids 

they so lovingly raised merely years ago.


at what point did kisses goodnight become slammed doors?

cars idling in a parking lot, far away from the house they bought together.

at what point did my drive for knowledge

become engulfed by the never ending drive to keep my supposedly eternal family together?

all I see is empty lines on clean paper, far away from the place i was last year.


so tell me

o thou, great teacher

what i am to do about the horrors seen at home?

how do I forget these things

and focus on memorizing letters and numbers,

when my entire home is being torn down

by those who built it?


brick by brick

by scalding brick

it crumbles,

and you want me to clutch my backpack

and shield it with my own body 

from the falling debris

taking me in its wake.


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