this professor

who taught astronomy

was overweight and wore a knitted sweater

He had a PhD in astrophysics

and I could tell that he loved his subject

by how he said Andromeda

the girl sitting next to me

made fun of his sweater

“He wears it every single day

look at the stains

look at the holes.”

it was her way of making small talk

when the lights went out

I liked him


and she didn’t look half-bad in the dark

but I kept hearing what she said

and her criticisms were so far away from any conversation I wanted to have

I think the professor drank beer at night

maybe it was how he spoke

with a delayed voice

that went too high

He poured over his star maps

and graded papers

in his small office

and some would say he was a lonely man

but he had the stars.


8 thoughts on “An Ugly Sweater

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