pregnancy jackpot

by Gabriel Ricard

Traveling under the cover of being afraid
to go out at night alone,
she walks past a couple smoking cigarettes,
hopelessly hoping someone will think the way
they’re leaning against the side of the building
will speak volumes about their character.

The boy is shutting down. Eyes closed, head down,
and psychological pet play dreams dragging him
down to the hell with a good-enough view,
and breakfast food that makes you sick every other time.

It’s a flight response,
because the fight
has been dumbed down to keeping track
of how many streetlights smash into his forehead.

And the laugh track has the gentle buzzing
of a tsunami gunning for a clean slate.

The girl isn’t actually screaming. Voice commits to quiet,
and she’s talking with as much patience as possible,
about how he’s a poison that’s eaten her hands,
and how it’s all just a bad marriage that thankfully
never got started.

And he’s nodding to the rhythm of delusion
of time being wishy-washy, easy to bully.

Traveling with tequila,
lodged in her throat
since last Sunday’s pregnancy jackpot,
she walks past them quickly,
and hopes they’re not the short film
that distracts her from the real danger
eight or four thousand feet ahead.


Posted on 08/19/2013
Copyright © 2022 Gabriel Ricard

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 08/19/13 at 01:06 PM

After reading this, I like the reflected sarcasm in the title. Witty writing from start to finish.

Posted by George Hoerner on 08/19/13 at 09:53 PM

Far too many guys today think they are strong but aren't men enough to step up their responsibilities. Good write Gabe.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 08/20/13 at 04:18 AM

I really like how you've let this passerby overhear this couple - it's a neat way to create a scene - could be her and her guy as she imagines an upcoming conversation, could be someone altogether different. Whichever, that's a great last stanza.

Posted by Rob Littler on 03/11/15 at 09:06 PM

...either way it's less than a mile, yo.

Posted by Rachelle Howe on 04/01/15 at 05:25 PM

Bite and grab as usual, my friend.

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