The Passed Note Issue 1 June 2016 - Page 58

And that is when

the dam breaks

beside me

under the weight of it all—

the books,

the hordes of unlined-up papers,

the pens and pencils,

the weeks’ lunch bags,

the gym clothes—

all come falling out,

cascading into the hall

like a waterfall.

Why now?

Just when I was about

to get away.

Just one second later,

I would’ve been

on my way to class.

The bell warns.

My feet pull me toward the hall,

can’t be late to class again,

but this grind in my chest

makes me know

I need to stay.

I sneak a look at her.

kneeling on the floor,

sweeping the contents

of her locker

into a dusty pile.

I get down too,

on both knees,

and start

just pulling the pieces

back together

book by book.