Love Letter to the Boys in the First Class I Ever Taught
I see you, sitting there in your letterman jacket, a Pepsi bottle
of tobacco juice wedged between your backpack and feet. I see it,
too, that chew tucked between front teeth and lip.
No, I don’t want a nip. Yes, I know how to spit. I believe you
parked in the woods all weekend, slept in the back of your truck.
I know you still had time for homework. Speed bumps:
your steel-toe boots in the aisles. You carry Axe body spray in your bag,
come to class sweating out both woodsmoke and semen. I have no desire
to see how big the barrel of your shotgun is. You sure as hell
aren’t limber enough to have sex in a tree stand. I would not offer
extra credit, not even for a pity fuck. You talk of big bucks, of points,
of what you want to mount and whose skin you’d like to bury
yourself inside. If you’ve learned, it’s on the power
of connotation, innuendo, your own. My silence did not save me.
Nor you. Come November, you beg me to pass you,
your daddy parking his souped-up F-250 double cab
outside the classroom to make sure you show up,
like your presence is the only thing that counts.
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