Before The Bell

I remember my first stick
Like I do my summer of circumcision
I had to stumble to get it
Now, I tell myself “let them wait.”

I used to admire the calcium carbonate
Powdering my palms
And leaving white residues on my nails
Now, my hands are immaculate

I slept with books and licked their covers
And have awakened into clothes
That smell of detergent and sun
Now, I wear costumes

Pages have once asked me riddles
As I took photos of their nakedness
While I ravage their covers
Now, I just sit and be content with a wink

I had mouths open with unabashed laughter
And occasionally had some of their eyes well
Or sparkle with notes and brushes
Now, I speak science and go before the bell

by A. G. Bawang

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