She went to school "in New England" she said

I feared the cracks in my lips were showing when I smiled

Stained with the wine I feverishly drank 

The blur in my senses yielded no relief from her eyes

Suddenly every cell in my body was made of shame

The faux intellectual DNA inside me

So smug in its blue collar fishbowl

Now exposed, naked, alone

Realizing the grave mistake I had made

So willingly sharing my past

Unable to take it all back and pretend to belong 

Words dribbled from a tongue still tasting of free veggie sliders and waffle fries, skewered shrimp, and Brie cheese 

Everything on the buffet so expertly curated

Crafted in honed in all the ways I am not

...sitting in the back row


Making lists with no end

Have to

Need to 


But now wondering why 

Why someone made of processed cheese food, and C pluses, and "good enoughs" is trying to infiltrate the elite

Why when I lean my head gratefully against the wall of the subway car

I pretend to turn beige 

And invisible 

A memory comes back 

Of walking upstairs in my elementary school, entrusted with the duty of taking a note to another teacher

All the way into the 4th grade classroom

Hearing everything I wasn't supposed to know yet 

The wine makes my mouth feel like a dry sponge 

I drift again

I think about the article I read about the Dutch girl

Who ended her life at the hands of doctors who recognized her suffering was great enough to warrant an end

And I am hopeful