Jessi

Do you know
all those years ago,
how your academia
goody-2-shoes
perfectionism
annoyed me?

You were always my other.

Compared unfavorably
by teacher, aunts, my mother.

She lives half a life
I would think,
a model student, her books safe.

You weren't even
an intellectual,
not a bit
conceptual.

Just a girl who
never showed up
high in history,
drunk in geography,
slept with her PE coach,
back ally smokin' a roach,
disrupting class
with her cackling laugh.

Your skirt stayed
white
and pressed
all day long.

Didn't you ever
want
to be
dirty,
bad,
lazy,
or strong?

And now, all these years later,
I would give anything
to be more
like you
were
then.

Your life of the mind,
with fewer scars
and more gold stars.
A second chance to credential
my intelligence,
to prove
what I could conform to
if I chose to.

But we both know I won't.
No more than you,
working toward tenure,
will grow up
to be wild.

by altaira hatton

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