Plastic Blue Chair

In the corner of my windowless office, Tommy, my student, sits. With his flannel shirt, he looks like a farm boy who grew up driving tractors. He looks like a man. But he is from the city. He moves his body with rhythm I once thought only black boys had, or Latinos. “Would you take another look?” he says. I take the stapled pages, wishing he were asking something I could not give. I hear the song that tilts his head, wish it were him singing to me, but I am a grown woman, old even, and I know better.

 

Lania Knight’s first book, a novella titled Three Cubic Feet, will be published in spring 2012. She teaches creative writing at Eastern Illinois University.

Photo credit: Emory Maiden

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