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28 August 2013 @ 10:35 pm
The Drama Club // Eireann Corrigan  
The fourth night I sway
on stage in the school
play is the night before
I'll wait in the hospital
lobby while my parents
sign me over to the doctors.
It's also the final night of the
show, the cast party. It's at
your house and your parents
have it catered. Piles of
white plates are stacked
throughout the house.
It's hard to stand without
fainting and people keep
approaching me with
full and helpful plates.
We all know why
I have an early curfew
tonight. You're down
in the basement with your
drum set barricading you
from the rest of us.
When I finally get down
there, I can't talk to you
over the snare drum
tantrum. Before I tried out
for the play, you helped me
practice my lines, winked
while the curtain first rose.
You've sat on the library steps
for an hour watching me nibble
on a banana and when Tony
Morales called me a slut,
it was you who held
his face in the sink until he
took it back. I'm not used
to being afraid while in the same
room as you. So when my
right arm prickles and then
numbs and my chest all of a
sudden feels like it's
splintering, like inside
some man is throwing
his shoulder against a door
again and again, I stick
my hand out, across the face
of the drum, and say Please
don't tell anyone but
something's wrong
with me and you hustle
me into your father's office,
call my parents and wait
with your hand pressed
to my breast bone.
You promise to visit me in the
hospital and I'll be strapped
to the metal bed before I wonder
whether your mom will drive you
or you'll take the bus. Right now,
I sit in the swivel chair, watching
you summon my parents and
I'm thinking about how grown up
and wise you are, how much older
than me you are. You are six
months older. You're not even
old enough to drive.