The More You Know

by Amy Lerman

In between cake pop bites and watching a dinosaur video,
my friend’s four-year-old rises from his coffee shop chair.
Don’t you know, he asks me, sharks have no bones? I tell him
I don’t know that, which is true and weird considering how
many years more I am, but what logic he shares knowing
so much about cartilage and connective tissue, and I thank
him, as his long-lashed eyes lower to the phone’s screen.

Later, I tell my husband, who smiles over my narration,
about my lesson. He responds—before I can tell him
I know what he will say—“Did you know the human
head weighs eight pounds?”, a favorite line from a favorite
film, that six-year-old kid too cute with his factoids
and frontal lisp, and we laugh, my left hand stroking
the baby softness of his neck, as we merge the highway.

That time my face flushed, and the ER doc ordered
blood, we were fine with the possibility, textbook aged
to parent, employed, we could to this, we told each
other, and even these years later, I still feel relief
the results proved negative, I think he would agree—

though had I been more hospitable, I bet we would
know that bees smell fear, Apatosaurus the correct name
for Brontosaurus, every day, questions would never
stop, rising one atop the other, hundreds of feet
above the ground, like the tallest trees in the world,
the California Sequoias, we would hear, a small voice
informing from the car’s back seat.

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