TEACHER-CREATURE

This is your teacher-creature speaking.
Hello blue jays, twits, and squirrels.
Hello black cat, orange, tabby.
The coffees of the world build a towering cappuccino
one day with winter stupor.
 
Teacher-creature thinks a little.
Teacher-creature amuses herself, writes an email, overhears students discussing their sex lives in the bathroom.
Teacher-creature suffers an appetite.
Teacher-creature studies socks and rare shades of bathrobe, studies acorns and plastic raindrops, studies backyard wildlife, the ways of semi-feral cats, warm rockets, the hollow sounds of hollow birds, studies lamb kebabs and other desired foods, studies desire, a Halloween nurse dripping from the leg…
 
This is your teacher creature speaking in a sad month.
This is a creative brain, a Caliban.
This is supple sadness and a hundred of his friends.
 
This is your teacher creature with a marked-down Valentine’s balloon.
This is your teacher-creature flickering with faint instincts.
 
A student suspects you.
If my teacher is a creature, then who is this?
I am bereft as sweaty bath slippers, as the robust bird, as the lost carpet, as the stomach.
 
Evidence of the creature:
She arrives silently in the shower.
She is 20% brighter than oxygen.
 
What was it you wanted to see?
Everyone else had smoother feet and bones.
 
This is your teacher-creature,
neither deep nor salty.
This is a loose head.
This is a creature, smelling of teeth.
This is a teacher, unnaturally healthy.
This is a high order of creature sent to sea
so we might begin to see her smart.

Photo Credit: By Illinois State Normal University —https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/14593834300/Source book page: https://archive.org/

About the author

Katie Fowley is a poet and teacher based in New York City. Her chapbook Dances & Parks was published by DIEZ Press in 2015, and her poems have appeared in FENCE; No, Dear; The Atlas Review; 6x6, and elsewhereShe teaches English and poetry to high school students at The Hudson School in Hoboken, New Jersey.

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