How many classes did it take to title the year?
Gouging capitals into the fiberboard desk
while classmates endured Gawain, he carved
a quarter-inch deep. Assumed note-taking,
or annexed in the back row with other disruptions,
the teacher lenient, or tending other fires
in the low light of this cave as it was millennia ago
in Chauvet, exhausted by another long-winded elder
recounting hunts the boy wasn’t invited on yet,
the sorting of bones, hierarchies. He eased off
in the quiet of the chamber, scraping, engraving
the canvas to show he was there.
Max Heinegg’s poems have been nominated for Best of the Net, and The Pushcart Prize. He’s been a finalist for the poetry prizes of Crab Creek Review, December Magazine, Cultural Weekly, Cutthroat, Rougarou, Asheville Poetry Review, the Nazim Hikmet prize, and Twyckenham Notes. www.maxheinegg.com