In the library a
student I don’t know
exclaims that over a million people died on his birthday—
he is smiling as if this fact has given him a super power.
When the bell rings, I see him in slow motion
loading his backpack and returning to ordinary.
Outside, the springlike air will either help or hurt.
I want to follow him. I want to put an anonymous note
in the bruised and busy backpack causing him to slump.
Please notice the white and orange marigolds–how wasps
go about their business. Their stingers serve a purpose worth
waiting for—Dear Boy, listen carefully. Your homework
is to imagine yourself years from now. It is your birthday,
and you will kiss a lover who sleeps beside you then you will sit
at a computer to learn that millions have been born this day.
Instead, I move through the xeriscaped path whose plants
seem to lean in the direction of the boy’s bus. A motor hums
in competition with the buzz of insects and birdsong.
He takes a window seat and leans his head against poorly tinted glass.
Outside the world moves in whatever vantage point he chooses.