Nine-Dollar Bacon


by Laura Minor

for Erin Belieu & Jimmy Kimbrell

Who is doing the work here?
That we should be so lucky
to escape our respective poverties
our cheating spouses
or the collective foot we elect
for our necks even when we are
poets in America—Is there anything
more decadent? Maybe Florida
maybe this rasher of nine-dollar bacon
I just bought at the local co-op.

I see my friend
as I’m thinking of frying it up.
He’s escaped his brutal youth
kept outside like a dog
to drink from the hose.
And I want to feed him bacon—
thick-cut, hickory-smoked
nine-dollar bacon
that I imagine has been handled
by women with fat fingers
nipples the size of Meyer lemons
eager and willing to
feed the miserable world.

I see another friend
whose heart was thrown like a newspaper
against the side of her own house
by an ex- with talons in his tone;
she deserves some bacon, enough to build
a palace of nine-dollar bacon for her
and her son to hide in, nibble on the walls,
speaking the language of the lonely family
kissing the salt from each other’s wounds.

And myself—
what about me?
Am I worthy of my own nine-dollar bacon?
I’ve done my share of weird & selfish things
and I’ve beat myself up pretty good.
I’ve had enough small injustice
to ogle the young man stocking the shelves
with bacon. Give the old lady perv
some nine-dollar bacon
because she can’t remember
love’s fresh curve.

The stupid cruelties are going to keep coming.
You’re going to see something bad happen
to a child before the close of day. One of us
will get inoperable cancer, and it’s enough to think
the rest of us would hold ice chips to the lips

or at least think about it. But for now—
while the temperature is tolerable
while the bunnies and deer caper
freely among the Madrona trees
let us sing our drunken songs into the Pacific.
Let us cook up an indecent amount
of nine-dollar bacon before we head off
to wag our great, new fears at the bluffs.

About the Author:

Laura Minor is the recipient of the 2016 Emerging Writers Spotlight Award at Florida State University, chosen by D.A. Powell. Her poetry has most recently appeared in Hobart, Spring Gun Press, and Lungfull. She was a Teacher’s College Fellow at Columbia University, the recipient of the Sarah Lawrence Poetry Award, and a finalist for Steel Toe Books & Pudding House Press. A celebrated singer-songwriter, she is also currently working on a third record (forthcoming in winter 2016) while she finishes her debut book of poems as a doctoral candidate in poetry at Florida State University.