In a Catholic School 5th Grade Class
Sitting in the back with late alphabets
Veronica S and I sit in small tables, Army tank teal.
Plenty of space for books and bibles.
Justin sits near us, having a last name near the R’s.
Crumpling writing paper and wrapping it around his left wrist,
The wrist used for writing. The wrist partnered in praying,
Justin commandments around him
Markers escape the bins to sign
Cocoon wrinkled papered
Around his arm.
Our teacher – Gonzalez
Turmoil runs her head
Waves of recklessness fill pores in her face
She is thin sheets of glass, falling on tile.
“teacher my arm is broken”, Justin performing a proud pout
Teachers check medical records or inspect the molding of a child’s cast.
She is shattered glass waiting for the recess and lunch chimes.
The following two weeks Brian is pulled
From the front of the class by the chalk board,
His last name begins with G.
He writes for Justin until his phantom broken arm mends
Until we all mend, by the grace of our lord.
The ghost of our past are hidden in our tongue.
Watermelons taste like barbeques and uncles throwing aunts into pools, fully clothed – for fun.
The scent parades the night.
We’ve all smelled our grandfather’s skin after we brushed his stubble cheek.
The leaves of grass leave the stain on our nose, long after you’re gone.
Gabriel Rubi is a Southern California native. Currently an MFA candidate in poetry at San Diego State University, he lived and died in video games, but now he is a father and husband afraid to die. Twitter @DrGonzo619