his mother and i
stare at the inflamed tendon
protruding from his thin, bruised wrist.
“i can’t work anymore,”
the 17 year old reveals.
“i can’t write, so the teachers said
i can’t go to school.
i don’t feel like doing anything
or hanging out liked i used to.”
there is a pause. his mother is nodding.
earlier, she said that she doesn’t understand english.
i think of how heavy pain is, and wonder
if his mother can feel the weight of his.
“i was surprised by what happened to me.
but i ain’t soft.
i don’t want them to think i’m soft.”