First Year

I remember drowning

in salty waves that crested

thick and foamy with self-doubt.


I remember suffocating,

a throat like thick pudding,

clogged with fears of inability.


Time was a snake stretched out before me,

dark and tortuous with an end that seemed



That black snake consumed my world.

I existed where the sharp tang

of the alarm formed cotton in my mouth.


The final bell was like coming up for air.

I gulped it in; my eyes overpowered by

blues and greens and yellows that sparkled.


The back build was a silver sledgehammer swing

that crushed the norms of my life,

and I quilted the pieces around me like armor.


But he doesn’t have a final bell,

and that damn snake is coiled around him so endlessly,

all he can see are the oily scales.


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