Excerpts from
Who Killed Mr. Chippendale?

Karyn Miller  (page 6)
Looking at her nails—sleek perfection—
Admiring her professional skill,
Then glancing out the window
To escape a math-induced stupor, she saw
The familiar figure of Mr. C. (as most called him)
Run a few measured steps.
A sliver of memory, a 65 the term before,
A fair grade considering she did not like
English all that much, nothing personal, mind you.
She couldn’t wait for the bell to ring
To end the period—to end high school,
So she could launch herself into the real word,
Prove to her mother
She could bring home a good salary instead of poor
While her teacher attacked a theorem with droning
She stared at the running form an instant longer,
Heard a crackling sound and watched
His head lift off his shoulders
And fly out in various directions.
A scream choked in her throat,
Escaping finally in a shrill cry.
“He’s shot, he’s shot!
Help me! Help me!”

Paige McCrory  (page 49)
Ms. Falcone, you ever been in love?
I’m asking you this because
I just got dumped by my boyfriend.
And I remember Mr. C. telling me, before he died,
That you were a good person to talk to.
When I told Mr. C. my secret,
That I was fifteen and my boyfriend was twenty-six,
He did not laugh,
He did not call me stupid but just said,
“Love always looks good in the morning.”
I told him love looks good any time of the day.
He replied, “Paige, I was speaking metaphorically.”
I didn’t quite understand
Until the evening of my relationship,
When Victor dropped me for an older woman of
Whom he had met at a club I wasn’t allowed into.
I don’t quite understand
How I could feel so great one moment
And so awful the next.
Ms. Falcone, you ever been in love?

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