my initials are BA. stands for badass
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The Last Semester


multicolored notecards
red, blue, yellow & green
stick on the 4 faces of white room

my body spreads prone on the bed
my wet face
digs flat into soaked comforter
hiding from
black marks defacing warm colors of notecards
cold black marks forming words
Pops words
words my trembling hand repeats on the cards
words still ringing in my ears from 10 minutes ago
where his hands tense on tan leather wheel of car
car’s screeching sounds stir my ears
his eyes scold me in rear view mirror
his mouth open
firing critiques like bullets of an assault rifle
long, sharp, unforgiving
bullets that form the words
grounded for the whole year
pass junior high? you won’t
graduate? never
all just because my ears do not hear
do not answer
song of my “less than 2 week old” first flip phone
resting inside front pack of grey backpack
with small skull design
while my friend and i push wooden boards on wheels
outside his humble home

now pops
i understand that fear’s hand squeezes your heart
as i roll on my skateboard 8 blocks to my friend’s
following school
but pops
the sharp words that shoot from your mouth
stab the edges of my then growing heart
wounds that cause my eyes when they taste cold mirror’s face
to still see even to this day
5’5 7th grader outspread on soaking bed
lips tearing apart
teeth biting bed covers
muffling sound of ugly cries
from dashing out my throat
so your ears don’t taste the salt sitting on my sheets

your cutting words
exploding on me like lashing lava from a volcano
burns into my mind, leaves scars i still see and believe
that my small feet can never rise above your dirty words
Pops, your words
a temper tantrum thrown by a two year old toddler
obvious sign that my eyes see now
depression pulling you on a leash with ease
a leash you try to hide behind the veil of stabbing words
words that act as your shield
a shield that swats down words from flying out my mouth
a shield that makes my voice tremble as it asks about her

your mahal
the one your promise at muddy edge of her grass grave
never to remarry
but decide to lock lips
with strange womxn living next door
and decide to unlock and pull away
after 10 years of you two locking
putting my body through shakes and tremors
when my eyes hear your lips lock

Pops your words
shave me down like an old eraser
your words say they drive one direction
but go the other way
why can’t you put your shield aside?
show me depression’s leash on your neck
do your eyes still see
small 7th grade boy
bad bowl cut
and oversized white nikes
not able to flip open the face of a phone

in 2 weeks
a degree from this university can hang on your wall
but without black marks forming your stabbing words
but marks forming my name next to a golden seal
showing you
reminding you
that feet of
an irresponsible, stupid, never get past junior high boy
does rise over the dirt of these words
does see and understand depression’s leash on your neck

i had my last day of undergrad today. 
i don't really want to get sentimental.
it's starting to be real because as friends ask me what i'm doing in the summer. i literally just say not that much. i have a job interview on friday. we will see how it goes.

Bradley Afroilan