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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.

      This poem,
      The voice of teachers at one time
      Or another
      In my back pocket
      because dammit
      High school politics has made me bilingual.
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Title Annotation:Poems
Author:Silva, Mary Lourdes
Publication:Bilingual Review
Article Type:Poem
Date:Jan 1, 2004
Words:310
Previous Article:A Portuguese Valentine.
Next Article:September.


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