with the splinters in my hair

my son chews erasers like suckers,
absentmindedly nibbling his pencil
as he reads another dime store novel
that costs ten times that much at barnes and noble.

he’s supposed to be writing a paper for biology,
and his notebook is opened to a page full of notes
in the same tiny script as his father–
but when i lean close,
the pages are crowded with whispered confessions of teenage love,
stricken through with graphite lines.

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