I brought the professor a poem.
It was naked and covered in vomit.
I said, “Sorry, professor. I wrote it with food poisoning.”
He said, “Bile bleaches words. The wino cries
expired milk. Please put your clothes back on
and read the damn thing.”
I said, “Sorry. I wrote about childhood love
in the woods. And a ferret named Waffle.”
He said, “No you didn’t. You stuffed a dead rat
and some leaves in a squeezable bottle.”
I said, “Sorry,” and hammered my hand
to the desk with a pen. It really hurt.
He said, “Here, have a snack,” and passed me a peach.
Then he mopped up my blood with his shirt.
Emily Hargitai is a senior Creative Writing student at SUNY Purchase and a recipient of the 2018 Ginny Wray Prize in Poetry. She likes writing poems about writing poems and currently has six gray hairs.