Burnout

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Burnout
I can see the silent prayer in your shy dog eyes –
“Please do not see me.”
I try to meet your gaze, but you side-eye anything else, face blank.
Anything but visually confirm my looking at your blank paper.
I can see the subtle jitter of your fingers texting under the desk.
The promise of attention, or at least the facade of practiced indifference,
now lies broken at both our feet.
As I plaster on a smile and grab a piece of chalk
I turn to the board
Chipper as an axe
And announce for the twelfth week in a row
“What kinds of music do you like?”
Three weeks from now, you will roll your gaze to one side
and ask, monotonous
“What do you like music?”
Then I will snap your pencil in my mind, smile, set it down
like a trophy for my patience, and hope for brighter things.

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