Two Poems

Poetry by Labecca Jones

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Pelle’s Dad

did time

for what he dubbed

the at-home-abortion:

if she can do it, why can’t I? 

Five months in, w/ proper kicks,

in a room without

the other kids

daddy sent mommy

to the bathroom.

Flush it.

She did

what she was told

always.

He wasn’t charged

until her fellow servers

noticed her fading belly.

One called about bruises,

another mentioned bleeding

through her uniform slacks,

then her black-outs.

DHS found her

in a hospital bed

worthy of rebuttal.

The charge:

murder, first-ish degree

depending on the fetus

-v-baby debate.

He was sentenced

to a decade or so.

She went on expecting

nothing from her soon-to-arrive

endometriosis, loss of uterus,

ovaries, fallopian tubes.

He sat in a room,

twelve by nine, watching TV,

thinking for six years

before his early release

due to good behavior

and overcrowding.

She heard and ran

miles by sundown

via polite truckers

and pawn shop cash.


Out South

Eric drives us

past Rim Lake

after school lets out

for the four-day

weekend.

His dad shot

his mom,

then himself,

on Thanksgiving

twelve years ago,

or so he says,

which is why I’m here,

standing where pavement

meets gravel road.

Eric’s gloves drown

my frostbitten fingertips,

his Carhartts surround me,

keep out blowing snow

while he reloads.

I pour what’s left

of the .22 pellets

into my mouth, careful

to turn up the edges

of my tongue, keep them

from a clink-sting against

my fillings.

It’s tempting to swallow

copper and gunpowder

just to see what happens.

I might explode inside

coveralls covering

school clothes.

My turn to cock, load,

lower the bead

into the iron U, take aim

at the cattle guard sign

bent, twisted, groaning

against blowing

snow and ice.

Eric’s cheeks sag

with rounded tips

denting through skin

from lack of dental aid;

his fated foster smile

disappears as he sucks spit

and swallows half a pack

of Lucky Strikes

non-filtered.

I can’t stop thinking

how well metal, gun

powder digest:

do bullets come out whole

or would I piss

my insides out?


Labecca Jones currently teaches composition, creative writing, and literature, and technical writing at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, CO. Her work has appeared in The Cimarron ReviewThe South Dakota ReviewThe New WriterMad Poets ReviewHaight Ashburry Literary Journal, Switchgrass Review, Spirit Wind Poetry Gallery, Bacapa Literary Review, and Ginosko Literary Journal.

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