the trick is to forget how to breathe

there is a boy I watch from my bench in school. I am careful glances and much poetry, curiosity and quiet respect, I am hopeful for my words to one day balance scales when placed on one end with his on the other.

he writes like thunder, writes like rain, anchors the ink to white wood fibre as if by throwing his words overboard he may displace sunken answers so they rise and break the surface. when he sleeps he dreams of all the lives he could live, he carries them on his shoulders as he goes around school for lectures. they weigh him down but make him strong; there is an aching pride in the gentle curve of his spine as he places his words in the palms of others and closes their fingers over them. even if he trembles, he smiles, for he believes in demons and fragility, celebrates how they make him human: they make his pulse race with fright and passion, reminding of a heart that can conjure and conceive emotions. in the salty scent of his inability he finds the urge to teach and learn from others, to keep taking another step despite the burn under his soles. he discovers that he can love himself, and with that love he is patient with himself – he can believe that he is worth time.

I will keep watching him, and writing. one day I will learn to create enough courage to hold his gaze and tell him he gives me hope, and one day I will slip my poetry into his backpack, and he will fall in love with my words.


(the phrase “writes like thunder, writes like rain” has haunted me for the last two days. wrote the original draft in the economics introductory lecture in school today where I drowned in the words and was doubly sure that I would not be taking economics for a’levels.)