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The shy boy, who never speaks in class,
raises his hand now, when the subject matters.
How much violence, he wants to know, how
much gore can he include in his novel
of a science experiment gone horribly wrong?

Next to him, the girl doodling flowers
says she hasn’t started yet but
is thinking of a children’s story
about a pony, or possibly a unicorn.

Later, face shining, she stops me in the
crowded hallway to show me ten pages
of scribbled notebook paper.
She says, I’ve changed my mind.
Now, it’s a romance.

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