• The Professor

    Shane McCrae

    Spring 2021

    The air is colder than the light in the air

    No fog  no smoke  but the light hangs on the air

    Like fog  like smoke  I’m walking to the bakery

    On Amsterdam  across from the cathedral

    A middle-aged  man wearing a tweed cap and

    A limp blue Members Only jacket passes me

    And a black face mask with a white skull

    Printed on it  but death is a professor everywhere

    What have you learned he asks

    What do you know

    Shane McCrae is the author of the poetry collections The Many Hundreds of the Scent and Cain Named the Animal: Poems as well as a memoir, Pulling the Chariot of the Sun. He lives in New York City and teaches at Columbia University.

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