Karis Lee


Karis Lee is a middle-school teacher. Her work can be found in MudRoom Magazine and is forthcoming in Rogue Agent. She lives and writes in Washington, DC.


Alone at Passing Period

my classroom has no windows,  only a maybe-skylight. a skylight  if you squint, forcibly widen  its four tiny slits  of light, blur the orange reese’s wrapper lodged in the ledge.  there is the clock, its ticks  emanating. and my voice,  when i choose to use it.  now that they’ve left, i understand. Who would want to be here, with me?  it is april. i know how to recognize  the word bitch in three languages.  i know my students, the sound  of their clicks. their hurriedness has taken root in my chest. last night,  i dreamt  of cardinals, scarlet flashes building nests, animals alive in their instinct.  how long, God? my many faults, come count them.

My first year of teaching was difficult to talk about and near impossible to write about—describing the physical space felt like the most natural entry point. If you are a teacher, know that I love you.