Two Poems

Poetry by Labecca Jones


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
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
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

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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