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A middle finger to Gatsby

Fuck You Jay Gatsby
by Jason Baldinger

A squall to stop midnight strong hearts,

although the fury is barely an inch.

Out of the bar, snow globe street lights,

I offer her a ride halfway, she says she has to go to her car.

Her car, where she lives now, although she sleeps

with a man she thought had “something” with,

now it’s just a bed she goes back to when there’s nowhere.

Tonight there is nowhere.

Tonight there is snow.

We glide down the hill, laughing our asses off

times is hard.

Hell, we’ve been laughing for years

ever since Regent Square Apartments.

Up till four, drinking and giggling

shit, the times never get any better,

anywhere or Sciota street.

She grabs two sweaters against the cold,

boots and then abandons boots.

Alcohol braces wind chill.

Hard to believe its December.

Hard to believe one’s life fits in a trunk,

Hard to believe a college degree ain’t getting anyone anywhere.

It’s paper, there’s no money in it, there’s no money in anything.

We scrape our change to laugh, Gatsby’s abandoned children.

Lost in America, the beautiful nowhere.

Earlier she said if it was summer

when she took her last final she would have driven

until the car died, called wherever home.

I think about North Carolina afternoons

we waited out storms, pizza shops talking

about the dead that never come back,

how it never gets any easier to whistle with cotton mouth.

We slide uphill, the last buses whine

through wires; electronic voices canned stops.

U turns, wipers push off snow,

the road a tenuous ice world.

South Pacific, she gets out

the snow to swallow her.

With door creaks, or in the wind through vents

I’m sure I hear something swear in whispers,

“Fuck you, Jay Gatsby!”

previously published in Fuck Art, Let’s Dance

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