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PROFESSOR CAMERON / David Wojahn The kind of Saturday he lives by habit now: the crowsfeet circle his eyes, the puzzled stare that tells him he has hated several blameless unimportant people all morning, all week, his desk a clutter of angry letters, alimony checks, his stillborn essays. Then, his hour for trying to run it off, to sweat away his guilty pettiness, to jog past the house of the opera singer sisters, practicing their wobbly arias and scales, the fenced-in toxic quarry, until, rounding a corner, he sees the couple in their yard, sprawled in patio chairs, magnolia blossom pinned in her hair, white evening dress hiked up above her knees, he sat in a lacquer-shiny black tuxedo: her hat, broad-brimmed, and his felt tie askew on the table, both of them sipping import beer. He stops to catch his breath, to watch them secretly, supposing they've been up all night, home now from their old friends' wedding. He's imagining they've found the moment, the dances over, the Japanese lanterns taken down, to begin the feverish talk that ends here, seven hours later, 64 · The Missouri Review with their decision to divorce. And what of her return to school? What to do now with the children, hers, from an earlier botched marriage? Professor Cameron's thinking they are both as much in love now as before but also hurt beyond the understanding of what they can do now to change this moment. What they do now is both stand up, she to take the man's arm, so that he leads her in a silent waltz around the yard, circling the elms, the flowerbed, the patio table gently overturned. And Professor Cameron bends down to tie his shoe. He knows himself on days like these, wiping sweat from his forehead, turning back furtively to look at them. Professor Cameron, who can't, anymore, love anyone. David Wojahn The Missouri Review · 65 ...


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