The New Students Here they come, some swimming, some perturbed, some like children, still bent toward recess. Their high school bruises have mostly healed, their holiness unknown. I watch them as I watched myself at seventeen, all broomsticks and black eye makeup, each a tiny notebook full of monstrous stars. I must teach them, first, the art of waiting. The stories come later, the grammar of poems composed in blue light, that necessary ritual fineness. If they knew the suffering of women and geraniums, old men stooped, I’d write on the blackboard each of their names and go home. If they knew the color of wet persimmon, I’d lie in bed with Henry James all morning and watch the chrysanthemums start to die. It is the equinox, the season of balance, here and there, half of desire half its opposite. They call me Teacher, but I don’t know the word, nor what happens when they are sleeping.
Carl Boon is the author of the full-length collection Places & Names: Poems (The Nasiona Press, 2019). His poems have appeared in many journals and magazines, including Prairie Schooner, Posit, and The Maine Review. He received his Ph.D. in Twentieth-Century American Literature from Ohio University in 2007, and currently lives in Izmir, Turkey, where he teaches courses in American culture and literature at Dokuz Eylül University.