Letter to an 8th Grader.
LETTER TO AN 8TH GRADER
Go fuck yourself. Excuse me
For not saying this in person,
High school politics has made me bilingual:
Frustration--voice without a plug or outlet
Political Correctness--Go Fuck Yourself/ translation 1. go to
the principal's office. 2. Listen up, students.
America's Most Unwanted
You and your baggy jeans, belt fat as the dollar,
solid prints, no logos, no red, no blue, no blood
In this school. The color of your skin
Is not important, the reader can imagine.
You and your homemade chin piercing
with the couch needle Momma wouldn't miss.
You and your Statue of Liberty spikes in your hair.
You and your tongue contorted like a spoon, tapping
At the head of the pink lollipop
(as if pleasing a woman was that easy)
held between your fingers and brought up to your lips
for a few cheap laughs by your friends.
You and your crooked smile and purple swollen gums,
Haven't figured out Mommy hasn't saved you
from the pain of dentists by choice.
You and your Hooked on Phonics
as you butcher Catcher in the Rye.
You, exhausted and bored with the foreign languages
Of poetry and literature, close your mouth and sleep
Over the wrinkled skin book cover.
You and the shit this poem calls a heart,
But you call it apathy.
High school politics says not to listen to
What you have to say--God dammit, What do you have to say?
They won't let you write it. Don't tell me either,
Or they force me to turn you in.
I stand in front of the class,
the chalkboard large as a bulldozer's bucket,
Shoving me toward the stench of puberty,
The junk and clamor of America's future.
The voice of teachers at one time
In my back pocket
High school politics has made me bilingual.