Nabila Lovelace: Standard No. 2

grandfather shucked the leadhead
of no. 2’s to sharpen the point
when i handed him my broken pencil.
in the after his steady grip seared
my brain, his choice blade, his straight
arm a lowercase l pushing snow off
a windshield I a parallel force
his arm chipping away tree husk to cuspate.
my eyes took footage so I could take up
a blade like so
& do away with the second grade wall
mounted sharpener’s machine whirr
us pupils opted out of bathroom
breaks to lineup in front
& return to our desk with a needle’s
envy. another day, w/ the sun dotting
my eyes, another second grader stabbed
me w/ a freshly sharpened mead
or was it me that wielded my shading tool
or did i see my sis take one to the arm
& alarm in shrieks of lead
poisoning? overheard in adult
air & stories that came after 10PM
do you know where your children are
mine were a frontline of stuffed
animals & below my sleep.
a prime blade for carving.


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