Love Letter to the Boys in the First Class I Ever Taught

Savannah Sipple

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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