She picks the dirt out of her nails
after smoking a pack of cigs
like a professor brushing chalk
off his long, prestigious fingers.

At night she moves her hips on top
of a guy’s lap, he feels the shape
of her body through her blue jeans
as if she's stripped naked above him
and the music is a product
of his body against her dance
like rubbing flint to see the sparks.

She swallows.

Instead of carrying his stink
with her all day, instead of him
“marking his own territory”
as they say, she eats his children.

And as the Budweiser slips from
her hand, in bed next to the man
she barely knows, the yellow drink
blotching the pristine white carpet
she wonders how much of her life
has been dictated by fluids.

James D. Ardis has over 50 published poems and short stories most recently appearing in the Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and Foliate Oak magazine. His column "Idle Lines for the Misinformed" appeared in Zine 5 magazine. A creative writing student at the University of Arkansas, he studies restlessly to put something on the page that has never been put there before and knows he's accomplished his goal when someone offended asks him "what would you mother think if she read this poem?"

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