EVERYONE MEANS SO WELL by Lisa Piazza • Cleaver Magazine
EVERYONE MEANS SO WELL by Lisa Piazza By fourth period we can barely breathe. Each stir of the stifled air whispers glitter into sound. The struggle at the board is all mine: a virtue of verbs, the urgency of action. Who can tell the compound from the complex? Every phrase dependent on the next. Sophia whines from the second seat: keep it simple. One subject, one verb. It’s a plea. I pull a name from the book on their desks: Scout discovers. Jem grows. Keep going: Boo scares, Dill hides until Robert’s screech from the seat in the back corner un-silences the cycle. Today he’s a cheetah, all energy and thrust. Some days he is nothing but quiet. Across the room, Zaid knows better than to laugh but he does it anyway, then Regina, who hates her teeth, dares to smile and Leann pulls out her phone and Parker puts on his sunglasses and Devin the Quarterback sticks his fist out for a bump: Knuck it up, Ms P.