Best pep rally I never went to,
I stood the nearly-nude
editor of the lit mag against the wall;
falling one silly millimeter shy
of broaching her vulva;
before an abrupt knock at the door
ended the festivities. The editor
flipped on the light; hustled into her dress.
I snatched pants up from ankles; buckled, zipped.
We tossed the editor’s slip and panties
into a sack intended for uncollated pages
to the spring issue. She opened the door
on Mrs. Forget-Who, a social studies teacher
in search of scratch, knew the kingsize
walk-in closet that did for the lit mag office
often stored misprinted pages
teachers were welcome to take for scratch.
I let the editor do the talking; and fast she talked,
explaining, above the odors of live teenage sex,
we were in the midst of an argument
about a poem when came the knock,
and we hurriedly tidied the mess created
when she had earlier thrown a pile of issues at me
to, uh, demonstrate the correctness of her opinion.
She was, after all, the editor; me? Oh,
a potential contributor. Pep rally?
Oh, yes, the rally for the big game tonight,
of course; honestly, just slipped our minds. Poetry
demands inordinate amounts of unmitigated focus.
She got off with the English teacher sponsor of the lit mag
admonishing her to pay closer attention to school-approved
non-literary activities. I got off invisibly;
as a potential contributor, someone obviously
insignificant and not going anywhere in life,
I failed to be worth wasting hot air on.
I date – astonished at the editor’s creativity under fire –
from that bang on the door forward,
my fascination with poetry and the literary arts.
My subsequent anonymous contribution
(loath to cloud the editor’s eye
with an affair of the heart) was,
of course, rejected.