Entering Grades

After I sort the blue books

collate the scantrons

do the multiplication, the addition, the recording

when I finally reach the entering I feel as though

the work at hand is incantational.

This cruel alchemy

turns agency and anxiety

into a bell curve of tally-marks

scrawled letters,

and screen-dotting numbers.

If there is a turning-to-gold

it is found in the repetition of their names

HannahKristenEvanHopePeterLukeEricaJuliaSarahMatthewColleenEmilyTylerMichaelTrianaEstherBethanyAnnieJacobZacharyKelsey

And I wish each well

as I archive, sometimes with cringing disappointment,

their grades.

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