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My student is writing an essay on climate change.
It’s lovely but also pretty bleak, to be honest.

I say as I read the draft, “Yeah, we’re probably screwed.”
She says, “There’s no probably about it.”

I say, “I guess you’re more screwed than I am.”
She says, “Yeah, at least you won’t be around for the end of it.”

She means this as a kindness.
We both laugh a little

and fall quiet
and, eventually,

return to the essay:
temporary respite in her words,

the hopes we share for them.