by William Fargason

William Fargason

in high school health class the week
of sex ed my teacher Mrs. Plunk

an old white woman with a bouffant hairstyle
so silver it glowed blue she put on

the projector a diagram of a penis
chopped in half lengthwise which made me

squirm my teacher each time she said
the word penis she would pause

then lick her lips as if to turn the page
of her mouth and I and the rest of the class

would try not to laugh and in the hallway
later my friends and I would mock her

saying the word penis then licking
our own lips it seemed she had no idea

she was doing it as if the habit was
a reaction to a far-off memory as if

she wasn’t in front of us any longer
and she was thinking back thirty years

to a French café to the small chair
she sat in next to the cobblestone street

smoking a cigarette the chair’s
woven rattan pattern like the blue

of the waiter’s eyes she called over was she
still there thinking back to the bulge

in his pants blowing a smoke ring
with the light wind hoping it would

get his attention was she continents away
from the monotony of a classroom

full of bored sophomores it’s hard to imagine
her with dark braided hair so dark

it reflected the afternoon light did she know
how beautiful she was did he notice her

and now each time she licked her lips
she was traveling back in time the imagination

always better than the real thing O the gates
of Heaven one zipper pull away

Last updated July 26, 2022