None of our lonely
lady teachers needed to sleep.
They nursed their pursed lips
behind those organdy curtains.
All night before oval mirrors
they polished their brooches and lenses,
tightened the nacre buttons on their blouses.
They rehearsed the eating of red apples
the way they were expected to
bolt upright on a doilied chair,
not by truly chewing and swallowing
but by making them disappear
out of their hands, away from their bodies.
appeared in: The Greensboro Review. Univ. of North Carolina