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EVA'S BREASTS/Les/z'e Wootten EVA ARRIVED EARLY for her first Thursday class, which would begin at five o'clock. She needed a few minutes alone to focus on what she would teach. Two hours earlier she had been with her lover, Valerio. He had cupped her breasts in his hands as if they were blossoms, kissed her nipples as if they were jewels. He had whispered endearments in Italian: uccellini di neve, le perle, pelle di conchiglia. After they made love, Eva told him she would enter the hospital on Monday. Hospital? he said. Eva slipped on her brassiere, asked Valerio to hook it m back. She buttoned aU of the buttons on her blouse. Outpatient surgery, she said. I'll be Ui and out before your füst photo shoot The frown did not leave his face. She avoided his eyes. Now, in the empty classroom, Eva touched her lips and tasted two lovers, a hurried afternoon. How does one describe the taste of our kind of passion, she wondered. Hotsour? Bitterroot? She licked her fingers . Rocksalt? Yes, she told herself, she was glad she had not told Valerio the truth. This was Eva's eighth year teaching English as as second language Ui the South Tucson Education Unit. Although her lessons were planned far in advance, tonight she would replace the scheduled exercise on shopping with a surprise session on body parts. After teaching the related vocabulary, Eva would have the students act out practical and useful scenes: a clinic overflowing with sick people, a busy emergency room, a hospital's surgery ward. She opened a shopping bag and pulled out a doll's arm and leg. She placed the plastic body parts on the desk, along with inflatable lips and a plaster cast of teeth the orthodontist had given her when she was thirteen. The last object she retrieved from her bag was a malleable breast she had stolen from her gynecologist's office. The breast was a tool the doctor used to show patients how to conduct proper breast exams. "First we wiU learn parts of the body," Eva said when everyone was settled in their seats. She held up the inflatable lips and plastic leg. "Then we will pretend we are going to the hospital for an operation. Someone Ui class wiU be the doctor; another will be the nurse. We will also have a patient and many family members who gather around the patient's bedside." The Missouri Review · 71 Eva paced back and forth, trying to ignore the shooting pains that began Ui both of her breasts when she lifted the lips and leg. The faster she paced, the more intense the pam became. "We are going to immerse ourselves in the exploration of the body and all of its ramifications," Eva said. "Anatomy, physiology, all of it, and then we will explore the body's complex, infinite, Ulterior ..." She paused, upset by her inappropriately elevated language. The students stared at her with worried faces. "Body parts," Eva said, trying to get back on track. "Ephraim, show me your leg. Show me either of your good strong legs." The young man gave her a quizzical look and said, "Leg?" Eva heard someone whisper, "pierna," and Ephraim smUed widely. "Leg!" he said. He pointed, then pulled with both hands until his left leg came loose. "Leg," he said, holding it up. He waved the muscular limb as if it were a drum major's baton, and several of the students began clapping in time to imagined music. Eva's breasts throbbed with pam. She didn't think she could last the full hour and a half for this class or the one after it unless she took some drastic action. She tapped the plastic leg hard against the desk until the students settled down. "Listen carefully," she said, glad that Ephraim had voluntarUy unlatched his leg. It made what she was going to suggest a Uttle easier. "I want each of you to choose a body part. When I say go, we will show what we have chosen and caU it by its English name." Some of the students nodded, but...


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