She sits outside the circle of teens, slouched against the white wall. When I invite her to join us, she slides deeper inside herself. Opens a book on her lap, pulls her hoodie up over her head. We continue on without her. My task, to protect these not-quite-adults as they attempt to fly on unformed wings. Each of them shares only one or two words, monosyllabic. I nod and smile, try to look like anything other than myself, a relic to their fresh eyes. After carpet gazing in silence, we’re saved, by the bell ringing and the rush of footsteps hitting the floor. Our wayward member still slumps by the door. I offer a hand to help her up. Slyly, she lets me catch a flash of silver off the razor, blood trickling down her arm. In an instant, she slips away, disappears into wane afternoon light. Her hair floating, unbound and free.
the bluebird’s wings
a blur of blue