There is a penis carved into one of the desks in my classroom.
Three fluorescent bulbs are broken these past six months. Light from outside sneaks in a closed shutter. The metal flanges are like old-style ailerons on rickety planes. Perhaps once the bulbs are replaced we’ll be cleared for take-off.
A third runway is being built at Heathrow Airport. Nothing they can do will make that place less of a hell-on-earth than it already is today. The last time I was there, armed police walked around with machine guns and Alsatian dogs eyed travelers with suspicion.
We are told what we can and cannot do.
I breathe in and out. An unframed painting on the wall reminds me of the sea. Arms. Arms. The cold of the stethoscope on my back. Inhale. Exhale.
Ancient civilizations painted hunting scenes on cave walls.
Mounds of bones at the closed ends of box canyons.
The appearance of chin hairs is worrisome. All can be corrected.
We turn the page and read on. A fly buzzes its way from sweaty body to sweaty body.
One is a deep thinker who says little.
Another is curious about the world.
Another loves to read and writes astounding poetry.
The hummingbird flits from flower to flower on the lavender bush.
I am afraid to send my writing out into the world anymore.
Late nights. The dim glare of the screen lit by news of airstrikes in Syria. All else unsaid. There are words, letters, images carved in bone, the turn of the scrimshaw’s tool. How small would he have to write for the words to be invisible? Carved into granite. Bone shall grind to dust before rock.