Undergraduate Assistant, Robert Joe Stout

Mark Terry, “Windows and Walls,” 14 x 12 x 1, Stoneware


Undergraduate Assistant


Past wisteria in concrete canisters
she ran, a frantic urge towards promptness
driving her into the room she shared
with him, teacher, friend, advisor, lover

Lover. Word she couldn’t frame
around her image of him as she rushed to class,

everything a blur except his hands,
his breath, his naked chest. Asleep,

beside him or alone, she dreamed
of water tumbling past roots of trees
and squirrels and rabbits watching as she swam,
her head thrown back, her mouth a scream,

her fingers bent like grappling hooks. And flung
herself, awake again, into her colorless
apartment’s spotless kitchenette and read,
read Dreiser, Shakespeare, Miller, Barth,

bright-eyed and breathing calmly, deeply,
as she rode their lusts and cravings far
beyond her own insipid makebelieve.

Robert Joe Stout

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