First grade
tenth day
begin to hit the boy seated beside me
three slaps
distributed throughout the day
varying degrees of pain inflicted
smiling wide
two broken teeth showing
token of a fight with the neighbor’s kid
his toys broken, his eyes black
his nose on the brink of bleeding.

Fourth grade
my victim speaks up
wants his seat changed
i’m questioned, punished
one two three, on my palms
the plastic ruler kisses my flesh.

Tenth grade
been punished

Eleventh grade
serious injury to the boy who called me names
his parents.
my parents.
the police.
detached me, trying to cut his sister’s fingers that remained pointed at me
hideous smiles playing on my lips
the thrill of causing pain
never ceases to surprise me.

Twelfth grade
the psychiatrist writes me off
a gone case.
i skip medications
i skip school
i skip society.

Twenty years later
on death row
the souls of my victims wait to tear mine apart
I grin at them
prospects of bloodshed never fail to excite me
he asks for last words.

Stop them when they’re young
stop them in first grade
when their stone faces refuse to uncover emotions
when emotions, perhaps, don’t exist
in second grade
when trivial fights become battles
when battles lost always call for revenge
in third grade
when friends are a repulsive term
when being nice equals giving pain
in fifth grade
when books are torn
pens broken
rumors of the little psycho in V-C take violent, bloody turns.
standing in corners
standing outside the doors
standing on benches
caresses with wooden rulers
with bare hands
whips and thrashes in empty classrooms
words vomited on absent consciences
sessions with ill qualified counselors
sessions ending with “or else.. ”
meetings with the principal
meetings with the staff, students, and parents.
stop them when they’re young
stop them in school
and stop them good.


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