He taps the floor with splayed fingers,
shakes his autistic moon face at the ceiling’s
florescent bulbs, marble blue eyes
cocked right. I’m supposed to teach him
to play appropriately, so I unlatch
the storage box lid and place two plastic
potato torsos on the carpet between us,
then spill a salad of lime green, pink, red
and white body parts by Luca’s folded leg.
I loop my thumb and pointer around
his bird bone wrist, brush his palm
across the brown plastic form. “Do this,”
I say, taking a clam-shaped ear from the pile,
sliding its stem in the spud’s side hole.
He tilts his head to scan the toy, lifts it
to his wet mouth and grunts agreement.
Then the boy’s brain rattles into my world
long enough to pick a white arm and
plant it in his doll’s coned head. Together
we become minor gods, our hands
clawing the spare parts pile until my doll
stands, like the sample picture’s twin,
on blue sneaker feet, green backpack
slung over its crooked elbow, and Luca
has sculpted Picasso’s dream — waxy lips
talking out the ear hole, google eyes
in place of teeth, antennae arms raised
to grasp satellite words. Luca gives his beast
a drooling smile, then rotates his wrists
to sign “All done.” I wouldn’t change a thing.