Cambridge Book Review

Survey of Teachers' Sexual Fantasies

John Lehman

Phys Ed
When we moved away
from our old house
I left a magazine
of naked women
with pillowy breasts
hidden in the attic.
We stopped at a motel
with an indoor pool
that smelled like warm semen.
My parents stayed
in their room,
drank bourbon.
I dove again and again
through clouds.

Home Ec
Once she had a boy
in her classroom.
He sat slouched in the corner.
"His eyes glowed," she said,
"like that back left burner
I just turned off."
She thought his bare arm
looked like baking sponge-cake.
She touched it.
It was greased metal.

Assistant Principal
It tastes so good
don't ever try it
even once.

The fish's belly --
slippery smooth,
whiter than the neck
under a girl's long hair --
is kissed
purple, red, yellow,
and blue
by the lamprey's bite.

Metal Shop
I love a good truck.

I was married to a man
who once was my student.
He, not I, could have been
another Auguste Rodin.
I loved the way he listened
to my words when I talked,
and when he did
I listened to them too.

I'm going to drive
to Ann Arbor for a convention.
I like to go kind of slow
in my ranchwagon,
watch those women go by
alone in their cars.
I like the ones
with short black hair,
eyes bulging behind wire glasses.
Not cool blondes,
but new housewives
with buckteeth
who won't look back.
Sometimes I'm late.
I forget, go too slow.

My young man died in Vietnam
pouring the foundation for
a village school by himself.
Shot. From bushes. His rifle
wrapped in plastic to keep it
clean, against a tree.
At nights -- his lieutenant
was kind enough to write --
he had been digging a well
by hand with a shovel.
The officer wondered if
it weren't a sort of grave.
But I know. Stripped, sweating,
breathing hard in the dark,
he is burrowing home to me.

Lock your doors and windows.
We don't want trouble here,
if you know what I mean.

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