Chem Class
Zoë Sîobhan Howarth-Lowe

I giggle into my textbook
watching the chem teacher, intending science,
spell out whimsy
in ancient alchemical symbols
that I have recently learned to read.

I hold court
at back of the classroom,
looking into the futures sewn
into the palms of silly girls,
I smudge the lines—
tell them things they didn’t want to hear,
read out the imaginary threads
I make up as I go.
Laugh at their furious clucking,
their pleading eyes, asking,
tell me things I already know . . .

Zoë Sîobhan Howarth-Lowe is a poet and mum from Dukinfield, Greater Manchester, England. Her work has appeared in Magma, Curly Mind, Clear Poetry, Lakeview Journal, Interpreter’s House, and The Lake, among others. She also enjoys war-gaming, painting models, and scrapbooking.