Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on


The Wisconsin snow grey and softening.
Dawn, the swollen eyelid the mill boys worked toward.
All night, they’d picture cattails waving in the marshes,
Judy’s hot cakes and home fries, geese honking high above cattails
as the sun ascended over the swamp, signaling their shift was over.

More light filters through the trees. Shops flip their OPEN signs.
For doughnuts to crafts, people begin to emerge.
Traffic picks up, and the woman across the street
who has not left her front window since dawn,
moves the neighborhood watch to the porch and adds a ‘GARAGE SALE,” sign.
She will have one every day until the Fall Solstice.
Where she gets her assortment of seventies bikes, romance novels, and votive candles is a mystery?

We have been trying to find that exact point of time, where you conceive.
No candles are lit. Romance is as tired as the mill boys finishing Judy’s hot cakes.
I am halfway in my suit and you need my sperm.
“I’ve got ten minutes, baby, and I’ve got to be to work.”
You hush me with your lips, and I penetrate you half dressed.
I have no time to wrap you close. You inhale deeply after orgasm
and rub your tummy like you are full of child.

I button my pants, kiss you, and head to a cold car.
I have gotten used to going to work feeling like I smell of sex.
It’s something that nobody will ever say anything about.
I picture you throughout the day, taking pee tests
and crying on the cold, sterile tile of the bathroom floor.

When I get home, you will be in bed.
I will look at a trash can full of pregnancy tests.
The sun will set and eventually I’ll crawl into bed,
noticing a small bruise fading.
Laying next to you, I’ll wish it were
a freckle or sun spot,
any evidence that the “you I love,”
is permanent, not fading.

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