the whole interview’s about her girl.
D says, I wanted her to know
but know my way,
not at school or from some jerk.
So one day I say, “We should talk,” & she’s freaked.
We sit down in the kitchen &
she starts crying. (So I’m thinking, She knows…)
“You got Cancer!
You got Cancer!” she starts screaming.
D snorts, We laugh about it now.
How she was so relieved
Others in town talk
about D’s son
finding her nude online, or
fellow yacht-clubbers finding her & showing him
her webcam antics, her customer ratings
on her “Escort” ads.
My son was bound,
my overnight bag. I stuffed it
There’s a bit of dead
air for the boy, then
from the interview.
D scans the Starbucks
where we perch on stools. Says she’s failed
the bar exam a lot, her ex is a nerd, that she wants another degree
& to write a memoir,
But I’m so exhausted!
Then it’s back to her girl, When I take my girl
on errands, I point out
all the jerks in town who’re clients &
we laugh. An orgasm
is like a pedicure for these guys.
Who does that?
she shakes out her long, frosted hair. She’s fifty-three
so she’s got some grey
but it looks classy.
I wonder if she’ll start pointing.
Instead, D looks back at me, One time we saw
this big ass politico I’ve known for years
slurping pancakes with his wife, at IHOP.
She says his name
& I’m ready to stop the recorder.
Too funny, she sighs. She’s so
far away she squints
at me, says, My girl’s cool. I nod.
We talk about all our guys.
It’s all good.
Just wish there wasn’t
She leans away but we’re closer now—like mother,
like daughter. & the monied men in Starbucks seem to be
closing in as the place crowds, but
I’m hooked. Side effects?
I feel nothing. Like that song!
After nine years of this, she sings, I feel nothing
nothing nothing at all…
Jennifer Jean’s debut poetry collection is The Fool. She’s the recipient of a 2013 Ambassador for Peace Award for her activism in the arts, and her poems have appeared in: Rattle, Waxwing, Crab Creek, Denver Quarterly, Mud City, Green Mountains, and more. She’s Poetry Editor of The Mom Egg, Managing Editor of Talking Writing, and Co-director of Morning Garden Artists Retreats. Jennifer teaches Free2Write poetry workshops to trauma survivors and to sex-trafficking survivors.