i let the ball hit me during recess:
we were playing dodgeball, but i
didn’t move. i stood like a mannequin, except i
could think i wasn’t one.

i think of a lame excuse
why math reminds me of family: a triangle? a straight line?
still 180°. i don’t get it.
when they bring “sister” into a word problem, my sweat turns cold [a problem];
it’s algebra after all so what did i expect.
i act like nothing’s happening
& still
score zero: because i ain’t good at pretending –
math knows me so well.

so does dodgeball.
everytime i try to run away, i suddenly feel cowardly & then
she revisits my memory: how she ran into a moving bus, away
from something she could’ve crushed. same.
i’m running from a ball & feeling like an idiot.
it can’t kill me but why?
why is standing more frightening?

why is a blank test sheet even more scary than the wrong answers?
doing nothing should be easy.
i guess i’m not cut out for any.