Two Poems

Whittney Jones
 About the Writer

Whittney Jones is completing her MFA at Murray State University. She lives in Harrisburg, Illinois, with her husband and works as a Project Next Generation mentor at the town’s public library. She has work published or forthcoming in Zone 3, the minnesota review, Revolution House, The Jet Fuel Review, The Hartskill Review, and Parable Press. 



Kenneth has his pecker out

again. We can see him

from the window, twisting his hips


in a drunk dance, or maybe

it’s from crack. His ass is almost

out, which makes him sing


louder, though God knows what song,

except maybe the Drones across

the street, as he is pissing


toward their house. If he falls,

it will be into their rose

bush. Someone says they hope


he will, that he’ll get a prick

for being one, adding:

it’s a wonder he doesn’t know


why he’s not invited

to these things. We’re surprised

no one has called the cops


and that his bladder has not

emptied yet. Like a goddamned

race horse, someone says.


Mom would be ashamed.





for cheap smokes, because he stopped

drinking whiskey. He lingers in the station,

thumping a pack against his palm


as he tells the attendee he’s married

to the antichrist, tells

the attendee she taught his parrot


to call him a pussy. You gonna cry

now, little man? The bird is an excellent

mimic of his wife. She’s Satan,


he says. She never wears pants,

and he used to like that, but her legs

are skin and bone now,


and she likes to pick the scabs on them

with one foot on the coffee table, dripping

blood onto the carpet. He doesn’t know


what she has, but he must have it

too. He says last year he thought

it was Hep-C, but didn’t know


how to tell—what you lost

first: your liver or your pecker.

He cried about it in front


of the bird. Pussy. Cry, little man,

went through his house for an hour.

He tells the attendee he may jump


into the Ohio on his way home. Better

that than to sleep with the devil. Ain’t

that right? Ain’t that right,


my man? He assures the attendee

she was normal once, but the prince

of darkness comes in all sorts of forms.


He’s a fallen away Catholic, only went

to church for the wine, doesn’t know

a damn thing about exorcisms, and he left


Lucifer on the couch in his oversized

work shirt, the one with the hole

in the armpit. He was sure he’d woken


to her, sitting on his stomach, wearing

nothing but that shirt, drawing

a pentagram on his chest


the night before. She spoke

in tongues on a daily basis.

It was too late for him. He’d signed


the papers and wifed the devil

July of last year. Never sign

the papers, he warns, slapping seven


dollars against the attendee’s hand.

El Diablo will take your soul

and the house, and even the damned bird,


and you won’t even know you wanted

that bird until he’s gone.