The classroom window frames a basketball backboard
–no red shooter’s square, long-lost hoop–
on a cold steel stem sprouting
from a potholed black top crowded with cars.
Teacher’s voice, broken with chalk dust dreams, asks
students how they play a point-less game.
They quickly promise, “We don’t.” As if she should have known.
Teacher’s blouse masks her nose from red permanent pen fumes.
She draws careful, shaky lines: missing square and hoop on window.
Maybe, to students’ watery eyes, the world would seem okay.
If there was a scoreboard,
it would be broken.
Home forever 0.