HAPPENING UPON A BLOW JOB
It’s dawn when I spot her breaching like a sleek dolphin
bottled behind the windshield of his gleaming black pickup
her black hair streaming as if underwater.
And, my god, you aren’t really expected to put
that much energy into it, are you?
Maybe I should kick gravel and let her know I’m there
but she’s all that busy ass and hips curved into an upside-down U
over a man flat as quicksand, invisible but for his
Dunkin Donuts cup flopping pink-orange across the dash
like some lesser fish.
Golfers waddle just beyond chain-link fencing,
and I wonder if my daughter’s proton radiation might work
wonder how it’s different from regular radiation
plan to look that up when I get home,
plan to get lost on the Mayo Clinic website again.
I wonder, too, if the black-haired young woman
is a prostitute
his nasty sister-in-law
I’ve been watching
too many British Crime series these days, running
to devour large horrors with quick solutions.
I keep walking along the parking lot’s edge, unable
to turn off the thinking parts of myself, thinking
about how we are all—every single one of us—
too near the freight tracks that cut through Wing Park,
cut like a long chisel path outward to the prairie,
an edge edge where once and not so long ago
a different girl-woman offered herself
before the train
and the train took her
leaving a permanent gasp in the air
I walk until I stand before the crosses her friends pounded
into the gravel like I might stand before
Etruscan sculptures at the Art Institute of Chicago.
They tilt now
but the kids still come, leaving plastic bottles
just soft drinks, sugary things, blue and lavender
at this, the place where she left
her family, her cashier job at the Jewel,
her courses mid semester, writing mid-draft.
Dozens and dozens of bottles lay down, labels peeling
contents heating in the sunshine, wanting to boil.
It’s under an oak budding
I am able to stop my walking,
present myself the full delusion of spring’s return,
everything I want to hear:
the big puppy biting and tugging her leash cheer me
the blow job back there behind me was young love,
the doctors at Northwestern’s Sarcoma Center know what they’re doing.
Christina Marrocco is the author of Addio, Love Monster—a novel told in story released June 1, 2022 with OVUNQUE SIAMO PRESS . Her poetry appears in Ovunque Siamo, The Laurel Review, Silver Birch Press, Red Fern Press, Home Mountain Review, and Voices from the Attic. She is a professor of English at Elgin Community College, Elgin, Illinois where she teaches Creative Writing and other courses.