you’re on a school bus full of ripped-up
papers and a girl with a bleeding nose.
someone hit her and wants to do the same
to you. there’s a cowlicked boy standing
in the aisle, digging
his hands in his pockets, looking
in the rearview—at the burn
on your cheek: a continent
of pain. but all you see
are cornfields and the triangle
of light you had your first kiss
under: the way knuckles turn
into fists: the gentle carving
of a wound: the stirred color
of hush in a jar.