Classroom Beast
a pair of hungry black 
alligator jaws

chomp into their prey, 
pinning heads to legs

suddenly the fierce jaws gape
wider than ever: feeding time!

the keeper's hand reaches
fearlessly
into the great gaping cavern

places the hard prickly sticks
within the strong jaws

and recoils
as hard black bones and glittering teeth
snap together
mercilessly

the hand reaches
toward the stack of thin white pancakes
grabs another pair
stuffs them into the mouth

the alligator bites down again
well-trained, on command

and the teacher removes the stapled sheets and hands them to the next student in line.
Jessica Noss
Published in Issue 34