After three months, only a thin white line remains,
the cut almost vanishing into her wrist
as into the dusk, a spider’s fine filament.
The rain had slowed to a drizzle
as the freshmen file one by one into her classroom.
She can’t recall the story she’d asked them
to read, the plot she’d wanted to teach.
Instead, she gathers them up
and they walk to a nearby park. They stop
in front of the aviary, stare
into its enormous depths empty of birds
except for a single pigeon.
She’d assigned the students to describe
one of the marble goddesses
inhabiting the park’s grounds and fountains, imagine
some kind of drama.
No one noticed her arm’s pale bracelet
though for a few weeks of autumn
it had been the first unasked question.
No one starts the story about a statue.
Instead, she and the students spend the morning
clipping open a hole large enough
for a pigeon
to escape from an aviary.