Remica L. Bingham, a native of Phoenix, Arizona, received her MFA from Bennington College. She has attended the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshops and is a Cave Canem fellow. In addition to other journals, her work has been featured in New Letters, Crab Orchard Review, and Essence. She is the recipient of the 2005 Hughes, Diop, Knight Poetry Award and was nominated for a 2005 Pushcart Prize. Her first book, Conversion, won the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Prize and will be published by Lotus Press in 2007. Currently, she is the Writing Competency Coordinator at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia.

Source: Split the Rock

Final Exam Administration

I enter to find all the students in uniform
occupying a small room.

I hand out pencils and registration forms.
Some begin without orders.

I remind them to remain anonymous
no names, just ID numbers should appear

on the waiting pages, white and clean
as unwritten letters or discharges.

Just a number…..the private
in BCGs and fatigues mumbles

from the back…..that’s all
we are. A number

and a gun……His comrades laugh,
erasing what might have been.

Do your best…..I say,
and they settle, salute.