Crumpled sheets of foil rot in the sunlight,
tucked in concrete corners of an old culture center
by hands and eyes that shield. The camera
flash illuminates the clouded minds, groups
of squatting, dirt-filled men who cough and mutter.
They see things I don’t, but have before:
the indescribable illusion, comfort
like the blanket someone puts over you
while you sleep, and when you wake
it’s something you can only hope for
again. The men smoke opium and stare at me
through the laptop scorching my legs.
I’m sitting in class and the professor tells us
that the closest route between two points
is a straight line, but I already know this;
as a young man oceans behind in life
I can’t do anything about the world
that lives behind a fate-thumbed screen.