Midterm All-Nighter: A Poem

Poetry By Angie Chirino

She stares blankly

at the flashing screen,

red eyes twitching with its light,

jaw stuck

open; sighs,

heavy and tired, drop

out onto her chest, dripping

into the quiet room with blank

walls the size

of cupboards, silk-screen

thin and yellowed under sticky

tape residue and flickering lights.

The phone beside her lights

up in white and drops

out a shrill screech—her eyes stick

to the screen as she blankly

paws to snooze the scream.

Then, a quiet sigh

of relief, and a louder sigh

of discontent as morning light

intrudes; the screen

shuts off, and the girl drops

her chest into her blanket

and rubs the sticky

sleep from her eyes. She sticks 

to routine, a size

XL tee—Green Day or Blink

182—sneakers, keys, turn off the light

and empty the cup under the dripping

sink. Keys. Close the screen

door, lock the front door, screen

door, front door—stick

an Advil in her mouth and drop

it down with coffee—sigh.

Breathe. Green light.

Then sat in a lecture hall with blank

faces, heads dropped towards their screens.

She blinks through the answers she knows. Stuck.

She stares blankly, sighs, light-headed.

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