Fall 2010 • Vol. XXXII No. 4 PoetryOctober 1, 2010 |

Biology Lab, St. Joseph’s School for Girls

At long metal tables, we opened Gray worms, each a slim, deft, harrowing universe, or Was it the mind We dissected beneath the watchful eyes of the Virgin Mary Installed on the filing cabinet? Her small painted hands Held together in prayer, her foot crushing a snake Its jaws cranked open in fury, exposing Chipped plaster fangs. . . . The way was not through matter, but spiritus: so Sister said. Still, we filled notebooks with diagrams and measurements, The rat's fur-tufted face calm, eyes clamped shut As it suffered our ogling knives, Such a small sacrifice To further understanding of all nature was. That was the year I discovered Tennyson: Come my friends I sang, standing naked on the locker-room bench 'Tis not too late to found a better world. Jean M. doubled over, laughing. (Yet the first time I read the words Tears stung my eyes.) Dissolute sunlight chafed the windows That September afternoon. I shivered, looked up. One two three--- Ma

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Clare Rossini’s most recent book, Lingo, was published by the University of Akron Press. She is currently completing a collection that includes poems about science, technology, and climate change. She is artist-in-residence at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where she directs a program placing Trinity students in a public school arts classroom.

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