Expressions

The “Pre-Exam”: a poem

By RACHELL CHON
Staff Writer

I blink as I open the door and see the rows of chairs before me;
I can hear the distinct sounds rushing inside my mind:
The turning of fresh paper stacked in a pile up front and the murmur of a voice near the whiteboard that’s muffled by the equations and facts that yell in my head.
Silence overtakes the room until it’s slowly filled by the ticking of the clock,
The breathing,
The movement of an eraser that peels with every mistake,
And the sound of hard lead that imprints each page.
The second I step in, I want to run back towards the sun that beams free.

I blink and can feel the anxiety in the air;
It vibrates within the walls of the room, penetrating into the brains that walk around of them;
The pressure builds and brushes against my thoughts like sandpaper,
Slowly chipping away the dates and names I memorized,
Layer by layer.
No, no. I have to fight it.
The second I walk towards my seat, I want to be in a place where the ground sits bare.

I blink and see people.
My peers sit in two states;
They are locked inside their own abyss,
Sitting deep inside their thoughts, trying to find peace within their self-created storm;
Or they find comfort in the voices of the others,
Fueled by the acknowledgement or the agreement of them,
Attempting to fill their minds with words that they probably will not need.
The second I sit on that hard plastic chair, I start anticipating an upheaval.

I blink and the questions stare at me in the face.
I fall into a mechanical position, with my legs tightly crossed over the other,
And am slowly enveloped by an invisible force that covers me from head to toe,
Numbing my body into a still position,
Where my breathing becomes silent,
And my ears blackout.
I don’t blink.

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