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Yu, Isabel, banana scented pencils

YU, ISABEL

Isabel Yu
Age: 16, Grade: 11

School Name: Saint Ann’s School, Brooklyn, NY
Educator: Elizabeth Fodaski

Category: Poetry

banana scented pencils

no mom i’m not the cause of your suffering
but maybe i’m the crucible and sometimes 
i suffer. sometimes
i find solace in seeing
you tear strips of skin from your heels,
and your stomach smoldering up
to where your hair falls out

when i am feeling guilty
i want to sit next to you.
only rarely, i think i could bear touching you
but i know that brush of my
lips to your forehead
would hold too much forgiveness.

but i’ll sit next to you
and hug my knees to my chin
the way you do
and together we’ll rock
back and forth and back and forth

while the electrodes on our temples
hiss out glitter-yellow smoke
and sparks the color of
my old banana scented pencils.