As humans do. I stereotype and I judge and place him where
I am sure he belongs.
The next time I see him we skipped class
Skipping the luck getting stuck with each other
And mob movies.
The next time I see him I am surprised our avoidance
Is becoming painful making our topic out of reach and
Our research rushed. But he shows up confused and frazzled
More prepared than me leaving me unprepared to
Categorize him a second time. His notes that hold
The entire fate of our presentation in his scarred and swollen
Knuckles. He stands tall with the presence of a labored statue
But he speaks unsurely about the severity of his insecurities
Causing the statue to crumble
Leaving him nothing but dust I feel I can blow away.
My own fears throw themselves in front of the fan I would use to send
The confidence that scares the twelve year old girl who controls who I talk to
To make him no better than myself.
I stay away letting his nerves chip away at my sure statured bullshitting.
Making me nervous like he is, hands shaking knee bouncing
Each bounce sends a particle to the ground and soon I am a
In a dust pan next to him because I want to understand
Why he is the way he is and what he does and how if he is so tough
Can stand up and defend until his knuckles are
So beaten if he can’t stand in front of a class and show a movie clip
Without leaning on a crutch in the face of unpreparedness.
Because he conflicts me.
I see him but I don’t know what I see and I know what happens
I have done this before
I have let the mystery consume me and let the severity of
My mistake consume every healthy relationship I ever had the chance of having.
Because my trust was sucked up into the vortex that she was whirling,
a minor loss since I barely saved myself but now
I can’t face anyone I find interesting because
I see them and I run the other way.
She rung me out like a sponge, so dry
And dropped me in a bucket of self-denial and insecurities
That I will never be able to wring all the way out.
And now everyone, who seems like a puzzle
Whose pieces I have but am too afraid to put together
Because I am afraid they will be like her
Like those hands around my neck
Squeezing the curiosity out of my lungs
And watching with pride as I crumble to the floor
As my own fallen statue
Suffocating in my own dust.
Molly is a student at Endicott College where she is studying Creative Writing. Molly Has been published in the Endicott Observer and the Endicott Review. She is from Saratoga Springs, NY.