One Night He Asks What Pregnancy’s Like Cooking’s lousy—the lukewarm slickness chicken leaves on your hands. And the smell. What we have right here is great. Want some water? A thick smell. Peat moss and refrigerator. I’m gagging talking about it. Then let’s stop talking about it? Listen, you want chicken, let’s go out for chicken. We can’t afford it, and I don’t want chicken. Yes you do. No, the pork is great. I like pork better. Five to one. I just can’t do it. It’s like holdinga bag of hearts. I don’t care about chicken. You were saying you planned to make chicken, so I asked. Ask me something else. What can I ask about? Anything that doesn’t involve smells. I like your shirt, when’d you get it? Come on, horrid timing. Do I smell? I said no smells. No really, do I smell? Honestly? Like motor oil. Now ask me something else. Do I always? No. Maybe. If I showered twice a day-- would we be better then? Maybe. But don’t wear cologne again. That was awful. And no candles. You want to go for a walk? I need to get outside. Do you want the ice cream? I want to go for a walk. I guess I can go on my own. I can go for a walk. Just around the block, can we do that? We can do whatever you want. Just once around, I think. Maybe twice.
One Night He Asks What Pregnancy’s Like
She spreads her coat, sighs, the table edge snug. It’s like this, she says, rucking up her shirt. The room’s all booths and single candles.
Across their low-lit island she murmurs, It’s strange, but you feel this presence, and he pictures a moose tracking her steps through deep forest, all the time.
At the bar checkered shoes flit and scuff their rung. He asks if it’s like a backpack then wishes he hadn’t before she says, I’m serious. His brain has called up,
once again, only itself and shut his mouth. I’m the pin between who’s gone and coming. Their chromosomes become a pop-up book of recessive traits he doesn’t mention,
and the PA system resolves an alto growl. It’s lonely, too, no matter how your husband’s trying. But then, for instance, the other day at the apple standthis woman, belly
way out, grabbed my wrists like this and spread my arms, said “aaahhh!” and something in Spanish, grinned and laughed, and I laughed, too.
David Thacker is a PhD student in poetry at Florida State University and holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Idaho. A recipient of the Fredrick Manfred Award from the Western Literature Association, his poems have appeared (or will) in Best New Poets 2015, Ploughshares, Plume, Subtropics, The Colorado Review, and elsewhere.