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Poetry of Issue #8        Page 86


  A little ditty ‘bout Jack and Diane
  Two American kids growin’ up in the heartland

Diane’s upstairs, showing
her mother the pink outfit
she bought for Cindy’s first Easter.
Jack sits in the basement apartment,
stretches his legs on the table,
listens to a Grateful Dead
bootleg, drinks another Rolling
Rock. Mosquitoes buzz, land
on window screens. He picks
a scab off his elbow, flicks it
to the floor. Greasy dishes float
in a tub of gray suds. Jack taps
his ring finger against the can,
keeps the beat. He drinks the last
drop, walks to the back door,
watches all-day rain hit the car.

Are you sure, he asked?
Yeah, I called the clinic
He stared
at the ground, pounded
his fist against the grill.
He’d been saving for a trip
out west, a new set of tires.
She bit her lip, tucked frizzy hairs
behind her ear, I can’t kill
my baby. He kicked gravel
in a puddle, touched her arm.

Diane brings the baby down,
lays her in the crib. Mom
went out shopping. Stepping back,
she loosens her robe. He leans
forward, kisses her full breasts,
licks the warm milk leaking
from red nipples. She crouches,
unbuttons his jeans. Her fingers
fondle his balls. She kisses
the tip, swirls her tongue
around the head, slides down
to the root. She takes it in her mouth,
sucks gently. He stays soft.
She lifts her head, says Baby,
what’s wrong? He shuts his eyes,
feels her saliva chill.

Published in the New York Quarterly

  Anthony Gloeggler