A Classroom Desk
Wood stained a deep-chardonnay decades ago,
a museum of oddities:
half chewed stick of Big Red circa 1997.
“Fuck Spanish 401” carved in blue ballpoint.
Cat hairs, three of them, the color of your grandmother’s lips
packed fat with liquorice.
Shellac chipped from groomed nails. Flakes
of skin, eyelash and an estuary
of spittle — awash
with bits of Dorito — thank you,
The smell of day old coffee rings.
Notes on Asperger’s. Notes on medieval European politics. The Russian
word for ‘greetings, friend’
Observing a Commotion
The acne-riddled schoolchild
on the corner of Fifth and Oak in Bismarck withholds
his pocketful of wheat pennies and buffalo nickels
from the older boys,
the ones with KISS jean-jackets and slicked hair and L&M’s
tucked behind their ears. He knows
that keeping the near-worthless metals hidden
next to the highlighter pen and two crumbled sticks
of Kit-Kat being saved for after recess is silly—
it’ll probably result in picking his last two baby teeth
up off the sidewalk or digging
the 13 prints of Hulk Hogan’s face plastered
across the backside of his briefs out of his
butthole— but today is February 17th.
The contents of the fuchsia plaster
pig he keeps on his nightstand were emptied
to buy carnations for Grandmother who,
despite tongue-y kisses and a constant odor of Bengay,
deserves flowers on her birthday.
Allen Finn is an undergraduate at the University of New Hampshire where he serves an an editor of the campus literary magazine, Aegis. He resides in Durham with a handful of longtime friends, a collection of cat figurines, and a shopping cart.