He folded a paper crane once.
Fold over, tuck under, fold, fold fold
in foiled paper that fractured bits of sunlight and pierced sight in just the right way
or patterned scraps of sinewy cherry blossom trees, delicate droplet petals
or just crinkled bits picked from the corners of a folder or desk or backpack.
And each time he folded one
creased with the side of his chewed-down thumbnail
measured the edges with one eye squinting shut
he felt a blooming heat in the center of his chest
a burgeoning pride in the pit of his stomach, like
He can do something right.
He can do something well.
But there are thousands more
who can do that in their sleep
whose fingers dance like spindly water cranes
whose movements rapid rush so
no sound is made.
They could grind him with the tip of a tapered index finger into finely milled sand–
He thought he could do anything.
He thought he could do anything
he could do anything