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Athazagoraphobia - Thaina Joyce

The crisp, frigid air blows through the hole carved

on the ceiling of this bathroom. The tiny hairs on my arm

grew tall like icicles. I am having a case of intuition.

Through the window, I see shades of blue gradient

from light to night. Loneliness faces me with arms wide

open and the sun going home without me. The sound

of footsteps fades more and more in the distance.

and all I can hear now is the sound of my beating heart.

The staff switches off the theater lights as I stand here,

alone. I am ten and I am shaking.

I have no money, no friends, no phone.

My school left me on the field trip.

The telephone so I dial my mother.


I breathe in and I break down.

I am not picking you up


My body filled with guilt, but she says:

Bringing you home is not my responsibility.

The school took you there, the school will bring you back.

She cuts the call short telling me that someone will be here soon.


I wait forty-five minutes and a car shows up wearing blame’s best suit.

It turned out that being in trouble while in the principal’s car


is the ultimate nightmare.


It took three teachers, two buses, one scarring mistake. But I take

no credit for the trauma I brought home as a souvenir that day. I relive

that day every time the lights turn off in the hallway of my work,

and all I can hear is the boiler room. I am afraid that someone will cover me

with an invisible blanket and forget that I am still there.


Bio:

Thaina Joyce [she/her] is a Brazilian-American teacher and poet based in Maryland. She aims to create work that empowers, connects the human experience, and evokes new perspectives. IG: @thainawrites


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