My husband tells me to forget about retiring.
He says I’ll have to die in the classroom.
A countdown of his final months of work is
constantly on his tongue and in my ears.
He envisions mornings on the golf course
followed by afternoons as a greeter
at Walmart or the paint man at Lowe’s.
I envision my burning at Joan of Arc’s stake,
hanging by Jocasta’s rope, being bitten
by Cleopatra’s asp, joining Anna Karenina
on the train tracks, gasping for breath
with Desdemona, drowning in Ophelia’s stream
or Edna Pontellier’s sea, sipping from Gertrude’s
poisonous cup, or embracing Juliet’s dagger.