The English Teacher

The English teacher


that love is often lucky at best,

tragic at worst.

He lived in Florida.

She lived in another man’s heart.

He wrote her poems based on the earnest, but honest, poems of Pablo Neruda.

He sang such precise metaphors, each one a sonic path from her man’s heart to his own—but she heard not a single word.

Though every night his walls vibrated with the call of his lungs,

the knock of his throat.

At one point, his slowly-hollowing soul became the glint of the sun on the edge of a knife’s blade,

and no one noticed until the sun had long set,

and his ravaged body was found a week too late for poetry.

The song of his heart but a faint echo now,

still ringing in the dusty air-conditioning vents above the chalk summary of his life,

heard by the mites that bite us while we sleep,

and little or no one else heard a thing.

Except maybe Neruda,

who always loved a good poem about death and love:

tragic or just lucky to be in the room when the curtains are closed for the last time,

when the sun is still out warming that which can’t be warmed,

that which can’t be heard for nothing any longer.



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