I miss my old desk
The one in the back of the room
Behind all the others
Far away from the loud voice shouting
The long finger stabbing
The bodies piling up around me

There were markings in the wood
Lightning bolts, skulls and Zoso
Records. History. Cave paintings.
Messages from those seeking protection before me
Just to say they were here and when

I rolled pencils across the wood
Tapped on the top with dirty fingernails
And on hot days without air conditioning
My hair slick against my neck and ears
Wrists wet from wiping sweat
I let the cold wood cool the bottoms of my forearms
I could hear the sound of my skin peeling away
As I reached under and pressed the tops of my forearms
Against the cooler metal belly of the desk

The top tilted downward toward me
And lifted up to swallow books and lunches
A flat edge at the peak to hold pencils
An abandoned inkwell from long before my time

I miss that desk where I hid for months
Never being called. Never being asked.
Feeling the power of invisibility
Feeling protected
Feeling the freedom of thin air

Of all the desks I have sat in since
The hundreds of them
Including the one I sit in now
That desk was my favorite

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