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"After-School Routine of an A* Student" by Benjamin Bowers

I start my day by

finishing it

the sun is creeping down

like that spider under my bed and

I really need to clean it out but

my back aches like an old man god I really need to stop curling up

in the bath like it’ll make me feel




I start my day by

finishing it

the sun is creeping down

the bell has rung

and they’re all flooding the street around me.

I must look like a rock in a stream.

Honestly I feel like one sometimes.

Not in the fact that I’m not moving

I’m always moving -

me and my brain are on a high-speed

train called the gifted kid and it’s

taking me all the way to Cambridge

and everyone’s so proud.

I’m like a rock because I’m all

hard shell

because I’m all


while you’re all


twisting, curling, flowing

with each other.

It’s like what the Smiths said

about charms and arms.

I’m not alone as in


but I don’t know if anyone

has ever really met me.


you put your earphones on

and I put my hands on my ears.

Life sounds better this way

let me hear it through a wall of grey.

And I start understanding that

I’m not understanding something that everyone else is.


in that I’m the

only one who’s here.

(Only one who’s not?)

I scuff my shoes on the concrete and

I get the bus home.

Benjamin Bowers is a student from England. His work has appeared in Backwords Trajectory. You can find him @benkb_poetry on Instagram.


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