I try not to think about it—the spring the junior dropped out of school after wearing a wire so the police could cuff Mr. Cawley—led him out of the high school down the long beige corridor of B-Hall past the AP History class where I sat with my textbook open to some European War, trying not to think about my confusion when I stood, the May before, in Mr. Cawley’s classroom, as he held my book report on In Search of History.
The wish is always that we’d walk in,
Give each other bear hugs,
Tight and unencumbered,
Nothing of my body shameful,
That he’d cradle my face in his palms
And smile wide, in awe of who I’ve become,
That I’d go to him twice a year
To help me unknot something of my heart
When it broke.
I cannot remember a time when I was not chosen last.
That and the great, timeless subjects: music, weather, war.
Wounds are openings through which presence shines through.
The child in the doll, Christ in the wafer, the ocean in a droplet.
This is a torn map of the forsaken world.
There are lines even wolves cannot cross.
Every voice an epitaph, then a little tune
from the neighbor’s garden apartment
suggesting a rondo, or circle of fifths.
Plato said the soul is a perfect circle.