Things the Deaf Boy Does Next Door

He collects sticks. Buries rocks.
Tapes together sheets of newspaper,
tosses them into the air
and lies down face to the ground.

He names the trees, marking them
with patterns of stones. He collects them
when it is dark. In morning,
I see the papers stacked
covered in stones.
He is collecting sticks again.

From a trip to the mall,
he brought home a bird—
a yellow-crested cockatiel.
His mother sets the bird loose
when he bathes. Gray jets
stream across his window.

With an elbow on her mailbox,
she leans in close to tell me
that the beating of its wings
sets ripples on the water
her boy can hear.