Only certain things seem to stick.
Gum beneath desks. Bird shit on windows.
In a Princeton study, even physics slid away.
The students were given the same test
two months later, then six months later,
then years and years, until the physics
became a small laughter in the auditorium.
Some of the test subjects must have had
their own children by then. Without repetition,
the study says, nothing sticks. Three times a year
the state mandates we simulate an active shooter.
It’s not listed on the calendar, which allows
for authenticity. Overhead, the intercom announces
the event. The kids move quietly as gymnasts
as they pile the desks against the door.