hot bright mall sunshine in the panhandle

PVC palm trees brush past the polyester

print 46 leather purse stack heel queen

of shootemup, texas

Joslin Holdimdown

past sweet is the sweetheart of

shootemup high the past master of

the white high roller skate

romance dance at the shootemup skate rink

bubble gum and the pink two-piece with the

heart shape cut out over her bottom

lemme tell ya she was somethin then

all the tan young future farmers and

methcoated truckers flexed for the gaze

of the high blond aura of the queen

of shootemup high

she picked out of the pack — Bud Jackson, of course

’cause he had the arms and the temper

to shitkick the competition and Joslin

liked that

Joslin went out with a geek once from band

he didn’t know his manhood wouldn’t survive the night

but she did

hear tell Bud did something to him

something permanent

he went away and left

Joslin and Bud on the altar of the Holy Mother

of Christ Church of Shootemup

Bud got a job slinging concrete

and they got a condo in the new park

behind the skate rink next to the walmart

sweet orange carpet and green linoleum

and a dodge with a builtin tool box

two miscarriages and the boy came

Bud liked ‘im at first but he shit in the tub

and that’s too much for a man ta take

Joslin let Bud have his way with the boy

she watched with pruny lips and muttered

’bout him deservin’ it the little shit

later, in the long days of vodlka

the little shit got locked in the closet

with Bud at work and Joslin on the serta

with the ex-con welding technician

Bud got saggy and meaner, full of beer and meat

he bitched and beat the little shit

while joslin with the pruny lips

looked on with satisfaction

pleasant twinges and the warmth of the hardtimer

two more vodka tonics at the Shootemup Hi-Lo

and she’s ready again

1982 divorce and Joslin moved into the trailer

park joined a gym and got a facelift

Bud moved to Oklahoma with Jody Sanders

and the little shit ran away from home

Joslin switched to Marlboro lights

bought a scrunchee and a new TV

working at the mall

hitting on the 22 year old bartender

at the black angus after twelve vodkas

and giving advice to everyone from the place

of been there honey

she got the gravel voice and then got saved

at Holy Father of Christ for the third time

and went canvassing for the Shootemup Republican

Minority Voter Registration Drive

she knocked on Bud’s door one day ’cause

Bud moved back and was workin’ his old job

after catching Jody with an ex-con HVAC technician

they had rough sex on the floor

and lived together for five months

until she couldn’t stand the smell of old failure

and started over again

in Backsheeit, Arkansas

with a man she married when he was in prison

for television theft

and petty larceny

no one ever knew where the little shit went to

but he moved to California and became

a Highway Patrolman

who liked to play softball


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