Apr/May 2001  •   Poetry  •   Special Feature

Now how 'bout this

by Tara Brever

Now how 'bout this

—Jeannie's got herself
pregnant again. Yeah, still no husband.
No-one wants fat pressin' them down,
so as to make them parta the bed. All she gots
is babydaddies, a whole neighborhood of ‘em,
and that ‘hood likely to be in th'dark city parts,
where the rats, all fulla holes like bad velvet,
pret'near just come fallin' out the ceiling.

Now how ‘bout that? Th'carnival done
crawl back down here again.
Yeah, ‘bout that time again,
when it'll get so hot that I'll bag them groceries
again at the Wal-mart, just so's I can keep
from swallowin' that thick soup
they done named humidity.
Nobody done ask me what to call it,
so I calls it like I drinks it.

Now how ya like that? Look out your window
right quick, Weezy. You see the nerve a that girl?
Nobody ought be walkin' out with such shame in they belly,
with a whole world strapped ‘round they middle.
Likely she gone to that carnival to find some sloe-
eyed man who'll fix her up wit' some a them lil' doughnuts,
th'ones that'll leave sugar on the bruised corners a her smile.
An' you know, Weezy, she only do that in th'dark,
that fool-smilin'. Only when she gots some kinda
sugar stuck where she can't quite reach it.