Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Entendres in Very Small Towns

by Todd Mercer

My lover loves the cock-
a-doodle-do of bucolic country settings
when the sunrise tries to pry her thighs
from spoon-lock, peels back the overthrown arm.
After racy dreams she wakes me
going down the root
cause of our stray voltage connection.
City girl in a rural village,
her hips humming invocation,
a pastoral prayer.

That old saw: they don’t go back
after they’ve had jet black
skies; the other saying: shit smells
like money to farm families—
they don’t teach those in the urban schools
where rock-hard Truth and endless concrete
examples came from nuns slapping hands
with rules, coercing obedience,
causing reveries of retaliation,
or stray notions of marriage
to the ultimate groom: Jesus fucking Christ himself.
A natural kneejerk reaction to
insistent men hell-bent on prying
good church-going girls’ mouths open, legs asunder
planting Grade A seed stock,
fertilizing fallow soil
broken open by first plowing,
more plowing to follow,
harrowing, discing.

My girl eats it up—every inch
of the long drive from town, invites me
to ease myself with her,
slow the persistent slapping noise
of tires on highway, almost almost,
sure we’ll make it,
up dirt roads the Christ-brides don’t take
where the green’s meadow, not money.
She asks if I’m up yet, if I’m finally awake, she asks
how I tune out birdsong chorus, roosters
bragging of their rooster manhood,
blessedly innocent of cocksureness’s comic cognate
to the wakeful within earshot.
“Are you up?” she asks once more
even though we’re spooned like this.
She knows full well I am.

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