We were sitting together
staring at the map
sharing the places that we’d been
when I started lecturing.
“You haven’t been many places
that’s probably my fault
but honestly, you aren’t missing much.
Since you’re stuck here all day
you should know by now that
windows lead to a place
that could be anything,
doors also regrettable.”
My student yawned
used to sleeping at this time of day.
outside on a busy street at the height
of its everyday traffic
a siren hurried by
when you start to understand
you’ll know –
that noise means a lot of things
most of them terrible.”
Suddenly I felt so much like Alice’s sister
that I clammed up
and forgot about talking all together.