Bright tinted giggles build up and crack into sunlight glows.

Squinting forward, our delicate fingers tightly clutching metal chains.

We bend and straighten our little legs,

begging the recess bell not to ring and

pushing ourselves into the bright sky.

The distant treetops wave at us

Midair, shrieks of joy explode from our throats.

The polished middle school kids curse between words,

glaring at us up and down.

We try our best smudge and blend,

but crowded classrooms fill with sharp chatter

and reverted eyes; suffocating us whole.

Whispers travel and break into chains.

Jeers multiply and tangle us in knots.

Our changing reflections shatter emptily.

In our khaki pants, we stock grocery store shelves,

between beaming rushes

and blushing laughs,

ignoring the blur of fluorescent lit aisles.

Exhausted from endless shifts

we fall into each other’s casual gestures.

Our brains releasing golden magic

with each perfectly formed sentence.

His soul vanished in thin air.

We tried to comprehend direction.

There were too many pieces to put together.

We grieved while piles of lecture notes stack up.

The impact breaking us

in crowded apartment parties where no one can see

or walk, or feel.

We try to recreate that magic found

in our teenage job

or squeaky swing sets.