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Madness in Transit

Mad and glad
which are you?
mixed up, flipped up
making potions like mad scientists, sorcerers
drinking then like addicts
acid, acrid
nails on a chalkboard down my throat

My neck’s sore from swiveling it on repeat
Paranoia is my constant companion
I put in my once-white earbuds and hit shuffle play as I get on the behemoth of a city bus,
with paint peeling worse than my mom’s beat up minivan from last century

A new bus driver greets me with a crooked smile
my skin crawls at something more than the crammed bodies
pens of pigs smell better than this

-- Audrey B., 9th-12th Grade