Stephanie Rogers


He says, I want to write something called "Drunk
with Dad Before God F'ed Him Over." God
deserves the recognition. I deserve
to live through it again.

                     By now the car hood
has dented under our weight. He's on his fifteenth
cigarette, tenth beer. All I can do
is count.
                It's been nine years and still I hate
that guy.

               "Hey man, it wasn't the doctor's fault."

He treated cancer with ulcer meds, you dick.
How's that not his fault?  The worst thing was,
the night he died I woke up on the floor,
and this is no damn joke, my dog was pissing
an inch from my f'in head. He must've known.

Now, in the wind, tree branches spread like fingers
before the moon, and I can almost see
his face. 
                My uncle took me to the yard.
"To talk?"
                 No way, he didn't have the balls,
so we shot hoops. I've only wanted one
thing since: to dunk.

                                "Too bad, Fatass, I've seen
you try. You barely graze the net -- at least
six inches left to go."

It's not too dark to see a rock that looks
exactly like Abe Lincoln. I point it out.
He jumps from the hood and lands amid beer cans,
then chucks the rock toward me but busts a headlight.

"You sad fucker. Can't play baseball either?"

I watch him fall into a kneel. He folds
the cardboard Bud Light box, adjusts then kneels
again onto its tattered face. Dear God.

Dear God, save me from death, I beg of you.
My flesh is burning off my bones and I
can feel the worms eating away my brain.

I'm off the hood, fingering a wiper blade.
He's watching me, but I don't know what he wants.

"I know you think I'm stupid, but I've seen
and read The Godfather. I know that speech."

Rain taps our faces sideways through the leaves.
Grass shifts under my shoes, crumbles then stands
upright as I inch toward him.
                                           "Listen, man,
it's gonna be okay.  Who knows, your dad
could possibly be watching us.  You think
he wants to see this crazy shit?" 
                                                  Fuck you.

He chokes.  The shift of clouds illuminates
his face like light from God grazing the earth,
the moon's own laughing face mocking us both.

"Hey man, what do you want?"  
                                               I want to know,
I want to know ... it's not my fault, I want ...

I kneel beside him. He leans back. I loosen
his belt, unzip his pants, take every inch
of him inside my mouth in front of God,
maybe his father, the moon, and holy shit

I like it -- another man's cock, my beard against
his thigh, his hands clutching the grass, the thrust,
and I suck hard, as though it's wholly human,
as though there's life in this, rejuvenation.

Location: Columbus, Ohio
Publications: Stirring, Can We Have Our Ball Back?, Poems Niederngasse, Unlikely Stories, Poetry Super Highway

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