Ex-teacher

David G O'Sullivan

I went and saw the guy who lives in the apartment next to me

To tell him his car’s interior light was on.

He came to the door in a yellowing t-shirt torn at his right hip.

I told him about the car, and he thanked me,

Asking me in for a beer.

I sat in his fat armchair; it smelled like sweat and cat urine.

“Do you have a cat?” I asked.

“Nope,” he answered without any hint of surprise.

We started talking about his past.

He worked for the local water board; he dug trenches

And helped the plumbers.

A big man, he leaned on his chair, it groaned under strain.

He put his legs up on his table and sucked at his beer.

“I was a school teacher once,” he continued.

He told me he had lost that job after he beat a kid,

“He…

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