Spring 1996 • Vol. XVIII No. 2 |

Chatter

Deanna has drawn a bracelet of thorns around her wrist in black ink, and now she inks in tiny, tear-shaped drops of blood. Beneath the drops of blood she writes his name in script: LeVon. She pulls her sleeve over her wrist when Laura, the English teacher, comes into the classroom. Today Laura wears a rayon jacket over striped pants. She's thin—perfectly—and she always wears these outfits. Does she think it impresses them or something? All the kids here ever wear are T-shirts, leggings, and sneakers without the laces. Maybe, Deanna thinks, she likes to rub our noses in it. Irene and Laticia aren't so bad—they've already had their babies—but Deanna, Trinie, and Rain are pulled up to the table like unwieldy ships at a dock. And they move like big boats too, sort of wallowing forward in rough water. "OK," Laura says. "We're going to do something fun today. Creative writing. I brought in some song lyrics as a starting point for your writing." She fans a stack of Xeroxes ou

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