The tan soccer player

          in the Lit 211 class

          became her Achilles heel.

          His French accent, catalyst

          for sensual images,

          chased away lectures

          about Poe, Faulkner

          and Shakespeare and

          made her throat tight

          as the rubber band around

          his long blond ponytail.


          In her office, his chair pulled

          close to her desk, she turned

          pale, unable to answer

          questions about thesis,

          hamartia or anagnorisis.


          During a home match, she

          watched the goalie chase

          the ball and throw his body

          lengthwise in front of the net.

          She imagined, instead, his

          leaping on top of her, muscular

          legs wrapped around her waist;

          in Sophoclean irony, he

          became her instructor.


          From her office window, she

          watched him leave the library

          with an adoring freshman

          at his side. She quickly finished

          lecture notes for the next class

          on A Streetcar Named Desire. 




                                                                     Vicki Collins