First Night of Seventh Grade

My sister’s sure she left a paper at Fiske.

So we break in. At eleven o’clock
the classrooms are all blur
and paper. If you don’t steal
anything the cameras don’t care.

While she pushes on the lock, I open
the nurse’s office. How I prayed here
for the threat of lice,
the soft parting
of hair with a tongue-depressor,
the first hint
of sex.

But her office is all threat now,
dim floodlight and a jar of cotton swabs.

I always wanted to know this place,
to trace its secret scalp
with my fingers.

Here, now,
it feels like under the mask
is another mask. A face
I wish I’d left behind.

Added: February 17, 2012 | Last changed: May 11, 2014