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The Bad Teacher

She could come to the door in September for our son. All

thistled cursive and miscounted nickels. She
might tell him facts he'll recall all his life:

Mice are spontaneously
generated by garbage.
The size of the skull is the size of the mind.
At the end of all this love
and fuss, we die. Everything
your mother told you about eternity was a lie.

I imagine her at night at a desk made for a child.
Her knees too high. Her elbows
rest on the floor. Switched

off for summer. An awful
doll. (I should have burned her as a girl, this has gone too far.)
Her spine has been sewn
closed by the same
seamstress who sewed this:

a black felt scrap of nightmare, its
edges stitched up sloppily to the stars.

This poem appeared in the March 21, 2005 issue of the magazine.