On a Substitute Teacher

by Elian Knell

Slow talking, no tangled stems
Sharp thorns but

no flowers

Walking on sharp toes
Bob and weave, boxer with pigeon genes

(aren’t birds just tiny dinosaurs

v e l o c i r a p t o r  c l a w s)

Velocity, move fast, eyes slow
Heat seeking missile in a tartan iris
Hands blinking


Sighs like avalanches

b o u l d e r s   i n   h e a v y   l u n g s

closed teeth

Needles on the floor behind grey lips

Have you got thick souls?