I am singing my fear of my students,
the cascade failure of mislaid emails,
of earnest young writers who drop words through the roof of a three-story cabin
and then wait, ears pinned to the air.
It will take an entire semester for language falling the distance,
piling high enough on throw rugs, on hardwood,
to reach listeners this keen.
My students need a teacher guide whose astrological sign isn’t Gemini.
They need a Boeing 787 aircraft with battery-operated beacon lights that work.
They need terrorist-proof sneakers.
They need Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods where no one explodes car bombs during rush hour.
They need cell phone genes at conception,
Facebook icon tattoos,
Google cars that drive themselves.
I back from the lectern shimmering like a heat wave,
glad for heat waves,
for spinning dust motes,
and dervish thoughts.
During office hours,
I’m a conch shell,
resonating their unencumbered words.
It’s what I can be for them:
a sign marking the trail head.
— Susan Glass