Kyle Heger

Awakening

Fellow students gaze in wonder as he 
lifts his face from a desktop, glistening
and sticky from the vernal pool of his own 
saliva, and disputes vehemently with a 
teacher over an obscure point of Cold-War 
history before returning to his self-imposed
oblivion. They would be no more amazed 
to see a tree stump rise up, shake off the 
moss and interrupt its slumber by zealously
reciting Cicero or doing the highland fling.

My Cousin’s Bedroom

On the wall hangs a cast-
iron Scotty dog she once 
took for God. Her bed is 
separated by a stone wall 
from the porch where her 
uncles slept as boys, a room 
so cold it doubled as an ice 
box. Quaffing Liebfraumilch 
from green bottles, we sit 
cross-legged on her mattress 
and record our voices on 
coiled intestines of metallic 
tape for posterity and laugh 
about the family curse.