The First Day

I like the way the first day of school feels. The crispness of new paper, the straight press of shirt collars and cotton dresses, the electricity that seems to hum not only in the fluorescent lights in the hallways but through hair follicles, through fingertips.

I like the way skin feels on the first day of school, hot to the touch, almost nervous. And new shoes rub red blisters on your heels—you’re a little girl again.

I like the loudness; no one knows where they’re headed and everyone’s anxious. Loud for the sake of being loud.

I like the fear mixed with excitement, like the edge of the pier before you dive in. Everything will be just fine but it’s the suspense, the tension before feet hit the water and you’re fully submerged.