An Unsuitable Candidate for Tenure-Track Assistant Professor

I’ll sneak in the texts that I really want to teach.
That will change, no matter what I tell you today
my passions are. You’ll check my syllabi against

departmental norms and think I’m toeing the line.
You’ll think. You’ll read my occasional poems
incidentally, from links you happen across, and

wonder if this poet is actually the woman you work with.
You’ll say with a meaningful look, “But she’s so quiet.”
You will try to ask me to lunch again and again, show up

at my office door at eleven, noon, and one, find it opaque
and mute, while I breathe so quietly behind it, my sandwich
paper stilled in my hand, that you won’t know I’m even there.

I won’t pretend I’ve read a book I haven’t, as a matter
of principle. Students will like me because I sympathize.
Because I’m easy. Because I make it interesting. You’ll

despair. Don’t hire me. Send me out as a buoy,
warning the others. I’ll bob, dodge, float, my size,
color, and bell tolling my shallows

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