He sits in the front row.
always early, eager, prepared,
the stereotype of overachievement,
and during a lengthening lecture, his gaze
glosses over slightly, he relaxes his grip
and a thin bead of drool taffies from his mouth
unnoticed until it strikes his hands limp in his lap.
Gnarled. Is there a better word for those hands
hovering and pecking at the laptop before him?
How do you describe his eyes if not searching?
What is the word for his joyful struggle
with verbs, sentences, the spoken exchange
that flows effortlessly from his classmates,
the twinkle behind his damaged smile,
the brain wreck left (no horn was sounded)
after strokes as a child
mentioned in stumbling passing?
How do you tell him - again -
that he cannot achieve what he is
convinced he can?
I'm at a loss for words.