I do not wish to speak with you
of matters great or small.
I take no joy in seeing you
when I walk down the hall.
I see the knives stuck in friends’ backs
when eyes light on your face—
I will not be the fool to stand
beside you in their place.
My intuition’s rarely wrong
and you set it abuzz;
I’ve learned by now that crazy is
as someone like you does.
I do not wish to speak to you’
with any grace or class,
I wish you’d stop trying to talk
and just let me walk past.
Lavanya Mani is a sophomore at Clayton High School, and has written poetry throughout her life. She recently attended the Young Women’s Leadership Institute at Barnard College, where she took a class on spoken word poetry. She hopes to pursue higher education in writing and English, and to keep using the art of writing throughout her life as a way of expressing herself and connecting with the world around her. Outside of writing, she has a passion for musical theater, violin, and her speech and debate team.