I dunno says the boy at the back of the class

with the flat black hair and the flat black glasses

ignoring the raised hands infront of him.

If you’re going to be like that then why bother with living at all?

We think about this, I write it down.

The girl to my left is hungover

staring at the handout as if to form a point.

I wonder if I should nudge her awake.

Our tutor turns away from the board

where she has written why bother

in green ink. The pen is running out.

We sit quiet as she looks for a spare.

Well go on she says

to the girl whose presentation it is

if you’re going to think like that

then why do you bother to live?

The girl’s name is Emily or Melissa

and she hasn’t prepared for this question

Because she says because…

I think she has to live because we’d miss her.

I didn’t mean to speak. They all turn.

Emily/Melissa looks affronted, though I’ve saved her,

the boy toys with my words on his tongue

how to mix them round and make them wrong.

The tutor takes in the faces

that she is losing to boredom

and what to have for tea tonight.

Ok, thank you. If you turn to page three…

After the class the hungover girl stops me

grabs my arm and shields her eyes

as she peels apart her dry lips to say

Can I borrow your notes?

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