In fourth grade, light shone
gold through classroom windows
and Mrs Muchowski, explaining
some simple geometry, drew
a perfect circle. She stopped
to admire the line without wobble,
each degree in place, each radiant
stemmed from a roundly centered
center, and she leaned into the board,
the scent of chalk dust, and pressed
her lips against the slate. Some
student asked Why'd you do that?
She, face gilded by sun, said,
You only draw a perfect circle
once in your life if you're lucky.
I wondered what else she might kiss:
the petals of flowers, ruddy skinned
apples, paintings and sculptures
in quiet museums, exams with the letters
just so on the lines. And how did it taste?
She wrote around the circle all day,
refused to remove the shape or its lips.
Next day the sky hung grey, and light
seemed less alive, and the board
was blank when we arrived.