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In the Crook of Your Arm I Hear America Singing
by Thomas Wooten

 

No was the long answer. No was the short answer. No was the dead dead center of the miasma cocktail sheíd been partaking of since tikedom. In other words, she was trapped in the medulla oblongata of the American brain serving burger grease to electronic teens, name Lola dangling from her titty tag.

*

--You want sumthin you take it.

--I want.

--Yeah, you always want but you got no idee how to get.

--You help me?

--You got sumthin I want?

--I got this here. I got these.

--We wurk sumthin out.

*

Luff is no laffin matter. Luff is serious bidnesss bumped up to highest pitch of engorgement with signifiers. Luff make all of matter dance cheek-to-cheek on head of pin. From De Pooetic of Aristotle Onassis. Smooch me.

*

 

--You unnerstand sumthin.

--Yeah?

--Bout me.

--Yeah?

--Iím a giver.

--Yeah?

--Yeah. I give. I sense first off you a taker. But thatís ok. Iím not sayin nuthins wrong with that.

--I donít know.

--What?

--I always thought I was a giver too.

--Yeah?

--Yeah.

--Thatís ok.

--Yeah?

--We wurk sumthin out.

*

Alls she wanted was a little trip to the shore, a small moment under the blue washcloth, maybe a few fleecy bumptious snaggletoothed clouds doing their slow glide. Stand with her feet in the bubbly, foamy tarsals captivated by the amorous attentions of a large portion of the earthís salinity, her body in smile mode from itchy follicle to shiny toenail. Smell your arm. Ainít that divine. Salt of the earth is what we are and what weíre going to be if shopping donít take over the world. You canít pave over the sound of flesh feeding on its little need to be shellacked with the fundamentís ooze. From time to time.

*

--Here. I got this for you.

--What is it?

--Open it and see.

--OK.

--Thatís special paper. Itís made from trees that never was alive.

--Yeah?

--Yeah. They call it recycle paper.

--But Ö the trees was Ö

--What?

--I should save it anyway. For maybe Christmas. Wrap presents at Christmas.

--Yeah. Thatís a good idea. Recycle the recycle. You got some brain.

--Hey!

--Yeah. I thought youíd like it.

--Itís great. I mean, itís really great. I love it.

--Yeah. I wudn sure of the color though. But I thought with your eyes.

--Oh yeah. I can see that. I really can.

--Iím glad you like it. I wudn sure. I thought maybe. Well, you know.

--Yeah. I know. And I really like it. One thing.

--Yeah?

--What is it?

*

So. The years. They zoom. The long, the short, the epic digitized. America. He gets his, she gets hers. Children. Paneling. Sod. Matching set of andirons. They get chubby together. America. A few less trees, a few more dry wells, no place dark enough to stand to show a kid what a star looks like so many strip malls with that good high-security lamp beaming SAFE TO GO TO YOUR VEHICLE NOW. No matter. This ainít no sermon. This is a human story. Warm milk all around. Everybody having a fine time, plenty of storage space in all the rooms. Hand-to-hand combat down the corridors. Donít matter. No worry. Lie down. Take a load off. Maybe a little nap before supper.

*

--You know what?

--What?

--Shoe trees.

--Yeah?

--A good investment.

--Yeah?

--Only kinda trees mama allow.

*

You smell maccow roasting seven days a week you think heavenís a piece of sand pissing on your toes too. Give somebody you love your arm tonight. Tell em to breathe in real slow. Watch they eyes.

*

--You got sumthin you wanna say?

--No.

--Me neither.

--You seen the remote?

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

 

Thomas Wooten has published fiction in The Alabama Literary Review, The Georgia Review and The Quarterly. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Adirondack Review, the Birmingham Poetry Review, Poem, Poetry Motel, Rattle, the Red River Review, Snow Monkey and 3rd Muse. He lives in the American South. He can be reached at limeworks50@hotmail.com.