Maintenance catches two students fucking
between finals on a green felt pool table.
It’s been an open secret—the in loco parentis
security camera went loco,
hasn’t worked for weeks.
A student about to fail
for turning in less than half her work,
sobs into her hankie, says she forgot.
Asks if being a mother is an excuse.
The chess club runs amok
in the main building, trashes the pretzel and chip
vending machine. Someone etches chives die!
on the tipped-over metal. Onion-fried crisps crunch
underfoot. Solid rain. Stacked ungraded blue
books on the window sill
are soaked, pulpy, bleed purple ink.
The longer you look, the stranger it gets
—a sign outside Physics.
Three teachers behind closed doors,
I am resting, not to be disturbed.
The halls are empty now. No poppy in the pale
green walls; no wonderful macaw
to speak in strange dialect. Just flaking
paint and mutter from a cranky water fountain.
Susana H. Case