Through our monitors, we stare at each other.
The dim light cannot hide the moldy ceiling
behind her. We start. Today we must learn
to speak about the weather. “Are you cold?”
I ask. She smiles and says, “I don’t understand,
Shahé jan,” in a village dialect full of snow.
“You—” I almost tap at my touchscreen
as I point at her, “Cold?” My arms crisscross
over my chest as I imitate shiver. “No,” she lies
and unbundles the tattered shawl. She doesn’t
want her teacher to worry, but I can see
she’s pale like the pixilated frost on the window.