t h e y e l l o w

i felt the taste of lead,

my tongue the point of pencil.

palms against my temple,

knocked it

straight to the ground.

escape

is the goal.

legs aren’t moving,

the eyes have steel links,

they cannot break.

gripping the air

with clammy fingertips,

trying to funnel

into my lungs.

concerned eyes narrow,

hands raise,

embarrassment boils.

the outdoor breeze

breaks on the face

but not through

to gasping pleas.

they are running,

“asthma?”

shake of the head.

disappointment rocking,

written in the crease

of their mouth.

they knew this.

in the meantime,

the links have enlarged,

have left no peep hole.

left no way out.

no slot left

allowed for exchange.

yellowed

skin

yellowed

sight

yellowed

air.

wish it was asthma.

straw and water,

they’re yellow too.

silence,

but not in the cage.

air circles the drain,

falls slowly from the faucet.

does not wash away

the loud

nor the yellow

or the lead.

but it’s 10 after,

time for chem.

no time to escape

the yellow.

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