Health Risk

The Incredible Hulk has had nothing on me.

The explosive student inside me

slams a folder on the desk in his head

and throws a thought open so hard

it leaves a doorknob-size dent

in what’s left of this thing they call a heart.

And being a teenager,

he can’t reconcile how he sees himself

both as a kid and as an assistant principal

telling adults what’s going to happen

if they continue to behave irresponsibly,

much like the way the intuitive teacher I am

is having trouble reconciling

being a walking wound himself,

with being a kind of emptiness

for the collective’s mud of emotion to settle

and begin drawing from itself again

as if it were a spring.

I’m not sure how to reconcile

how the most empathic part of me,

the part that impulsively

punches holes in his own feelings

until they’re just not there,

can at a moment’s notice let open the

floodgates and make everything that skips

about becoming a solace for others.

I’m not sure how to make peace with

how, in order to become a kind of

forgiveness, the self must first tear its

words off and jump into a hot sun of pure

anger and vengeance resembling itself,

without regard for anything or anyone else.

It’s not cancer or heart disease, I know,

but the way I see it, it’s kind of a health risk.

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