II

I lost in dark would

“Good effort, Aom,” I scribble in red. “Please visit ESL Lab ASAP.”

Yesterday’s learning diagnostics balanced on my knee, I await the
#33 in a sunlit plexiglass shelter. At the far end of the bench, a girl
in a deconstructed peasant blouse frowns into her phone as if it
were an ancient hand mirror.

Once upon a time something something?

“For heaven’s sake, LaDonté,” I pencil in the margin.

My students are all over the map these days. I rub my temples for a
spell, the bench beneath me thrumming with traffic. The pages
flutter and settle like a stunned wren rearranging itself on my lap.

In the middle of life, I found myself lost in a forest of shadows.

Out of nowhere, my bus splashes past, out of service. My
benchmate stuffs her belongings into a bursting purse and storms
off with a curse. It looks like I’ll have to reschedule with Song yet
again.

Translate the opening of the Inferno into Standard American
English. You may refer to your notes. Stay calm. Good luck.