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In a long ago classroom, physics was invented

by a bald teacher carved from rocks and clouds.

He stepped from behind a podium and bid us

join hands then took the spare of the first boy

(Aaron? Abbot?) and touched a gold orb

as belts whirred and we gaped, hair

raised on every head but his.

In great lessons, we often retain

only the image of a thing—a throng

crossing a bridge in Alabama or a ring

of cynical slouchers, staring, altered

possessed for an instant, exhaling as one.


Michael Lauchlan has contributed to many publications, including New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, The North American Review, Sugar House Review, Louisville Review, Poet Lore, Bellingham Review, and Lake Effect. His most recent collection is Trumbull Ave., from WSU Press (2015).


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