Where were we?   At 6th period

By Nina Siso

Female     age 14
thin string of music hangs
out of her left ear
she shoulders her
yellow book bag
adding her squeaks and shuffles
to a trudging herd

Male     age 16
chest concaved on a
twitterpated heart
work up the nerve
work up words
work will
to ask her
Marsha Lanson
to junior prom which is
so stupid
but maybe I’ll go

Male     age 15
sleeping
drool seeps out
slightly crusted right corner
painting Pollock on the table

Female     age 17
scrolling screens
snap   status   snoop
selfie

1:08 pm
6th period lunch
Male     age 14
twitching
scanning
hurting
packing
building
until

++++++++++++++++++bang                     bang                     BANG

+++++++++++bAng                     screams                            banG

+++++++++++++sobs                     Bang                   splat                             baNg

left ear ripped breaching
into stitched hairline
book bag stained
rust orange splotches
chest concaved

Marsh Lanson goes to prom
alone                         no one asked
no longer sleeping
he can’t
close his eyes or
he sees again
screens replay
over   over
over    over
but not over
front face camera
banned till the
scars

++++heal.

About the Author

Nina Siso is an MFA candidate from Georgia. While pursuing her degree she works as a substitute teacher, so the topic of gun violence hits very close to home. She has been published in Georgia’s Best Emerging Poets and is a reader and blog editor for Obra/Artifact.


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