I Got Even Once

with a kid who always
teased me on the bus and made
me cry
on the day i’d had enough i
pushed up his sleeve a little
bit the inside of his wrist
hard as i could
a crisp-skinned thanksgiving turkey leg or
three aromatic cubes of watermelon bubble yum
would taste better but
couldn’t feel as good

later i
got called down to the principal’s office
they asked me if i’d actually
bitten the kid because
they thought at first it looked like
an animal bite

this was a good time to cry:
“but he put a snake in my face
he pulled up my skirt
he took my glasses
i hope he got rabies”
and so on

until they said yes, okay, just
don’t do that again or
we’ll call your parents
they let me out of there not likely
to forget that
teeth in flesh feel good

Copyright © 2005 Jane Adam

Jane Adam started writing poetry a few years ago in a moment of desperation. She got surprisingly decent results, so she kept at it. Her poems now appear online in Remark, Poems Niederngasse, and Half Drunk Muse, and in print in Nerve Cowboy, Chiron Review, and Slipstream, whose editors nominated her for a Pushcart Prize in 2003. She's lived in Buffalo, NY since 1981, and taught freshman English at nearly every college in the area since then.