Debra Bruce: “Classroom Introductions”


She speaks through mesh, veiled from head to toe,
except her eyes, bright black, except her feet—
flip-flops slipped off, swinging back and forth.

Who will ask what her classmates want to know?
Becca carefully holds the question out,
leaning forward. Her summer tee rides up

her lower back, her butterfly tattoo,
as her boyfriend at the desk behind her props
both feet against the bottom rung of her chair.

Amina answers, veiled from head to toe.
Her laughter flutters the mesh, one flip-flop off,
one on, both feet swinging back and forth.

Debra Bruce’s most recent book is Survivors’ Picnic, and her poems have been published widely in journals including Cincinnati Review, Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Salamander, and Women’s Studies Quarterly.

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