Summer 1993 • Vol. XV No. 3 PoetryJuly 1, 1993 |

Science

One day you'll be a credit to your race.           MRS. MOODY From behind your tableau, bunsen burners, beakers, test tubes, with the periodic table for mise-en-scène, you measured my light's luminescence and clarity. You missed the obvious truth. I meditated with reverent eyes on a man descending with open arms and flowing hair and robe from the boisterous beginnings of words. You commanded me to hold a snake. It was a black snake that wiggled like rubber. I prayed for God's voice to announce an intervention. I thought it would be a still voice like the one to Elijah and Samuel, or like the soothing annunciation. El Shaddai, God of my fathers, Eli, Eli, Lord of junior high school, rescue me from this snake that slinks and slithers, rescue me from Mrs. Moody's science class. I prayed before and after every class, to take away this snake that I feared. Eyes sometimes closed, sometimes open, my lips pursued the English of King James. I didn't unde

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