four poems by Jake Tucker

Rogue River

When the gas station attendant came over
she had a Farrah Fawcett hair style
black roots exposed
the complexion of Eric Estrada
and teeth like Prince Charles.

She explained that if I filled up I would get a free coffee.

An auctioneer pulled his work truck up
to the pump in front of me,
asked the other attendant to fill ‘er up
then went inside.

The attendant pumping my gas
leaned over to me

I always said it would be nice to have an auctioneer for husband.

I gave her a confused look that asked how so?

you know abada abada abada

Her tongue worked hard to accent the vowels,
flicking in and out of her mouth.

I shook my head
told her she was probably right,
thanked her pumping my gas
and went in to get my free coffee.

When I left the station I waved at the attendant
who was smoking a cigarette, pumping gas into a pickup.
She told me to have a real nice day

with a look
I wasn’t entirely comfortable with.

As I drove off
the sun set behind the mountains
turning the sky hot pink and baby blue.
While admiring it, I hit a dip in the road
burnt my lips with coffee.

Seattle

A homeless man is drinking a tall boy
of Hurricane Ice in a downtown alley
while giant cranes build half million dollar condos
for young professionals who pay twenty something
girls with hipster flair to walk their Boston Terriers
past the men in the alley-ways drinking malt liquor.

Susie

she was all shivers in the corner
hadn’t eaten in weeks
fur soaked with urine
head between her legs

if her life were a movie
it would be well into the credits
somewhere around the key grip

Jay and I looked at eachother
then back at her
she was the one
we liked

Jay picked her up by the horns
tossed her in the wheel barrow
I hauled her up to the woods
while he went for bullets.

first shot: her legs waved wildly
like she was trying to run
second shot: her right hind leg kept going
third shot: the leg slowed and stopped

I went back to the trailer
sucked down a High Life
smoked my pipe
vultures circled the property for a week

Why Ryan Johnson is My Hero

his mustache bristled with surliness
finding his way through the crowded fairgrounds
nibbling on an elephant ear

a ways to his right
a child pleaded with his mother,
who was of considerable girth

I want a balloon

I told you no

but I want it!
I want it !
I want it!

the shrill yelps
were detected
by the half hungover tendrils of the ‘stache

Someone throw that kid in a river!
he said loudly.

and they did
and all was well again.

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