I asked the science teacher sitting
next to me (the one they teased
about his massive chest) to explain
to me the composition of a cloud.
only for the credit, a step up
on the salary scale. His wife
wanted a bigger house, the kids
were growing, he was overwhelmed
with bills and coaching.
I said, “When you’re my age
it will empty out.
There’s too much, then all
at once there’s almost nothing.”
When he answered me about the cloud,
his voice went soft:
“Moisture on dust,” and when
I asked him “in” or “on,”
he said it didn’t matter
either way. We never shared
a coffee and spoke only
of casual things, a still viable
jock and a graying grandmother
pretending to concentrate on the course
content, side by side through indolent
hours, easy in the peaceful co
existence a couple of prepositions
had provided–a gentle affinity,
pleasure like moisture on dust.
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