I think it is not enough to fire underperforming teachers. We must expel underperforming students! Indeed, we must persistently eliminate underperformers, starting at the bottom and, having eliminated the bottom, moving on to the new bottom. We must continue firing the poorest performing teachers and expelling the worst performing students until we have eliminated all the teachers and all the students. In a distant parking lot between the high school and the football field, a single, rusty Pontiac shrugs its dull shoulders against the grim February rain in Pennsylvania. Inside, the old pool is half-evaporated. It laps against the painted depth markers. The distant echoes of the beautiful boys who once awoke early to come to this place, rising before dawn and kissing their mothers' soft cheeks, in whose lanes their arms wheeled in parallel until the first bell rang and they pulled themselves from the cold water, smelling of chlorine, and towelled their hair, and went to homeroom curl like mist against the tiled walls. In the hallway, a single janitor pushes a long broom. Overhead, above the roof, angling the plane of its wings awkwardly as if jerking on the end of a filament, a red-tailed hawk rises and rises, until, in the weeds below the field house, a mouse rustles a reed, and the bird dives like the very avatar of death, like the first claw piercing the first flesh, back when the world was new.