No No No

Written by: Allison Ballard

No No No it says
a little momento of a soul
with which I imagine I identify
 
I can see her there
crouched in the stall
armed with her key
scratching deep without restraint
blowing away the cloud
of the chalky wall
which sloughs off like snow
 
I can see her there
trying to rein in her eyes
the recent memory of numbers
and words
falling away like the skin
of the wall, in the stall
on the eighth floor of the study hall
 
I can see her there
clawing with fervor
hoping to share the damage
the frustration that singes
her chest, the regret
that shreds with the papers
in her fist, her best try
 
No, No, No
I imagine her slipping
away from a foothold
watching the flood waters rush in
and consuming the wall
her tower, reduced to sand
A witness to the aftermath
 
I know her-
this resounding no
is a way of life
and I, a college student
am not prepared
for my exam tomorrow
 
Oh no...no...no