American Syntax

by Ching-In Chen

Read by Emma Rye

The teacher straightbacked,
faced me off, her eyes.
My face in the cleave of
her shoulder, my bones
sitting high my cheek.
The word proper
arrives in the hall. The order
of things, rolling
neat into pine drawers, dead-
clean. Squeezed juice of greedy
sponge.
Her teeth not match.
One chipped. The corner lifted,
peeking a window, furtive.
The other, pearl, round
and perfect, looming above my
arched head. About to bite.

 

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