what to wear when…eying the clock on the last day of class. she jams her feet between the bars of the under-seat basket attached to the desk one row up. the rubber of her sneakers squeaks as they squeeze through. tick, tick, tick, the minute hand jerks one notch over. her planner’s pages are puffy from spilled lattes and being propped open. her pens are almost empty. mechanical pencil lead lies in splinters in her bag somewhere. her doodles, confined at first to notebook margins, invade whole pages. this invasion begins benignly enough: she inks in letter-loops, feeding her Bs, Qs, Os, and other yawning mouths. then, from paper edges creep gel pen patterns. eventually, the tic-tac-toe grids shrink and shrink, hunching between blue stripes. spirals snake into every blank space, even the ruffled strips of paper cut up by wire binding. tick, tick, tick. her notes, now swallowed by scrawl, are illegible anyway underneath her designs. her desk is carved up into crags and canyons. pencils skid over the rocky surface, which sends lines flying and punches puckered holes in the paper. tick, tick, tick. she sometimes imagines that her desk is a map whose key needs decoded. her fingerpads travel the familiar terrain. though decades old, the corner fortress of J+L 4EVER still stands strong. tick, tick, tick. to the west winds the river of cubs suck (in cursive, as apparently this rivalry runs deep enough to warrants artistry). gag dicks litter the middle. with their own pens, students who sit in this desk trace the ditches dug by those before her. as a result, ink of every color.can be found in the scraped-out grooves in chronological order like sedimentary strata. black over red over blue over black once again. on this jagged-ridged, scribble-riddled archaeological site of a desk, her fingers tap, tap, tap in tune with the tick, tick, tick. like the multi-colored ditches on her desk, she too can be excavated and split into tidy layers. a letterman jacket over a cardigan over a cami over a pink bikini top. tick, tick, tick, her appealing, all-american outfit is a secret belligerence on her part.she dressed this morning for the day that she wanted to have, not the one she’s having. aspirational aesthetics are her favorite flavor of “fuck you.” i do not want to be at school, so she dumps her books out of her backpack and replaces them with gummy swedish fish. i want to be free, and so she wears flip-flops too impractical to run to class in and a skirt two inches too short to meet the dress code standards. today is not the last day of class, it is the first day of summer, so she wears a bikini with beads at the ends of the straps that clink when she raised her hand. her sartorial defiance has catchy rhythm, click, click, click. the boys next to her can’t figure out what causes it and keep jerking their heads around, convinced that her beads are nearby buzzing bees. click, click, click. tick, tick, tick, the clock agrees. the clock and her, they share a language. they have a clicking, ticking contract. she gives her four years, her eight hours a day, time spend in concrete boxes, time spent inhaling chalkboard dust. that’s her end of the deal. the clock owes her freedom. the clock promises an end. it’s slow on follow-through though. tick, tick, tick. time moves like molasses - it’s slow; it sticks to itself; it could be the death of her (boston molasses disaster is faintly visible underneath her doodles). she shouldn’t be here. it’s summer! or it will be in two hours and twelve minutes. eleven now. tick, tick, tick. her bare skin sticks to the seat of her chair when she crosses her legs. she peels her thighs free with a suction-y, smacking sound. her blood runs hot, she’s always been told. her body leaves its heat long after she’s left. leaned-against lockers, boy torsos, and today, a chair seat. what she gets from this, from her hot blood, is that she’s mean to be outside. heat seeks heat. she should be in the sun. two hours and nine minutes now. tick, tick, tick.