Must keep your eyes on your book as you
stretch your forever furrowed brows,
breathe sharply every time your pen lands on paper,
and weep salty tears of gold and diamond.
Must outperform yourself because your efforts,
no matter how significant, will never meet
your Everest expectations of yourself,
and working is better than slacking off.
Must tell yourself that you don’t ever get stressed,
because if you did, if you accepted your fear of failure,
then you would know that your intentions are not pure
and that what they’re saying about you is correct.
Just see those picturesque feline amber eyes,
those small saucers of pure light and innocence,
peering at you through the illuminated crack
between your door and its frame
and wondering why you do this to yourself.