He has thoughts he doesn’t
think about. Birds might wake him
but they don’t. My thoughts
feel like speech—how one animal
makes nature—until I speak to him.
We use words like a tree uses light:
there is a process we don’t see but do.

A kid I don’t know hits another
I don’t know. I say stop stop
to myself. Speech keeps
happening against me.
The boy wakes to cry.

From The Wug Test (Ecco, 2016). Copyright © 2016 by Jennifer Kronovet. Used with the permission of the author.