We are told that it is wrong to fall in love
with our teachers, wrong to make A’s in the custodial
closet at at 5 pm on a Friday, wrong to let him drive you home.
We lock our knees together, innocence bandaged tight to us,
so tightly that sometimes we drape our silky
bodies over winter beds and imagine what
dogwoods must feel in April.
A generation of intellectual sluts, thighs together
we open our minds – whoring ourselves
out to the gnarled poetics of men in blue ties, bespectacled men,
men who give us copies of their book like we are
panhandlers with growling thought, a bastion of potent
intellect, left to ferment
we bring our brains like emptied buckets
brilliant in our belief, narcissistic in our naiveté
we go unpunished
stomach stuffed with the words of dead men
wing-tipped men, men who read scholarly journals
fermenting into something sweet against the cool
cinderblock of the custodial closet
buds unfurl on the ends of fingers.