Holding Hands With a Woman
“Someone Saw You Holding Hands With a Woman and If You Won’t Publicly Renounce Your Disgusting Actions Then You Are No Longer an Employee of This School"
I remember waking up at 6 am–I remember having something to wake up for.
I remember writing plays, cleaning up yogurt, spinning globes.
Staying up late to pin construction paper borders and word maps.
Anticipation, deadlines, meetings. I remember the day I left.
I know time heals, but how long does that take?
I know they’re still learning their clocks.
Time is a watched pot I can’t seem to boil,
but it’s everything to them.
I will never stop missing their morningsleep faces.
Never pass a school bus without aching for their questions.
Never tie my shoe without tying theirs, too.
Though I’ll never have another shoe to tie.
I am enraged that I never got to defend myself–not a soapbox–a goodbye would have been, at least, decent.
I am haunted by the day a parent shoved me against the lockers, asked if I had ever molested my students.
I don’t have to wonder if the substitute is better than me, or if she is more beloved than I was…she isn’t.
When I see them in dreams, I kiss their salt tears away.
In real life, I have to pretend I don’t know their favorite colors.
When I pay my electricity bill I count sums and figures on their tiny, curious fingers.
When I rest blades in my veins it is for the caps I will never see them toss.