(from Fingerling Lakes)                                 —Simeon Berry

Jay’s jealous of Matt
The quarterback

I dated in 8th grade

The scratch

of his callused fingers
that could encircle

my waist

I was narrow as a wasp then
If you tipped me

I would fizz

like a chemical failure
in a test tube

Falling for Matt

was a long succession
of nights watching him

angrily shake
a rash of ketchup

onto the plate of fries

balanced over the depth charge
in his knee

He wasn’t smooth then

When he brought me home

his mom
made us pocked brownies

Sweets for the shiksa

He turned red
Geez she is not

And you’re Episcopalian
It comes down

through the mother

She ignored him
She liked

a God real big

on surveillance
and back room deals

So did I

I understood it wasn’t

personal when she stopped him
from being with me

with my bloodshot eyes
and mushroom mind

He had the brain of a horse

Turning heavily with the herd

Noble  Alert

Totally unable to get up
after he fell

Simeon Berry

Simeon Berry won the 2013 National Poetry Series for his first collection of poetry, Ampersand Revisited (Fence Books), and the 2014 National Poetry Series for his second book of poetry, Monograph (University of Georgia Press). He has been an Associate Editor for Ploughshares and won a Massachusetts Cultural Council Individual Artist Grant. He lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

ISSN 2472-338X
© 2019