by David Antonio Moody
Lately there’s nothing
like a warm black brassiere,
one long rib bent,
the pin-stick of boning—
a drunkard’s image
of his Halloween saint.
Or so that book read.
I bought it on sale.
The poems were simple, as in
I could read them. My bathtub
from nothing to do . . .
I’d pay for your mocha,
you’ve got to know that.
My cash register here is full
just for you. You only
need ask: I get off at 5.
Come home with me then,
you riffling your purse for dimes,
all over the counter, their clink
like shower rings tugged over metal.
Hot water pipes
that expand and rub.
Give me a chance
to be open, be honest:
I’m renting this place.
I pace over white shag
someone else walked
with no fear of sinking,
so hush your high heels.
Put down the book.
Money does not change
the sickness, only the symptoms.
Money is not nice.
Oh, the tricks I could teach you
about bagging bread, how
no one wants paper,
and no one wears watches
but they rush and they rush.
Those rules are common.
But the safe’s combination?
The phone code for out-calls?
Outside the evening
is a thick beauty swelling
into overnight rain
and shopping cart rust.
Bananas. A 12 pack. A kiss
on the hand. Some rules are simple:
buy one to get one. I’ve shared
this one with you. Here’s all I have.
David Antonio Moody is a writing instructor at Arizona State
University and also serves as production editor for Cortland
Review. He has edited for Southeast Review, Juked, and Saw
Palm. Moody was the recipient of a 2014 AWP Intro Journals
Award, and in 2009 he was awarded a Zbar Poetry Prize. His
recent poetry appears in Spillway, Artful Dodge, Eleven Eleven,
and The Carolina Quarterly. Born into a small Florida river town,
Moody studied creative writing at Florida State University, where
he performed in the Jack Haskin’s Flying High Circus.
On “Giving Adoration”:
For a long time the working titles of “Giving Adoration”
included the references “to a Grocery Bagger” and “of the
Check-Out Clerk.” Ultimately I decided these titles put too
much emphasis on the speaker as a character. At the center of
his world is a longing for company that manifests in references
to Steinbeck’s The Winter of Our Discontent. By trimming the
title to its current form, the act of giving and notions of gift
culture are better foregrounded against a commerce-driven
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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary
Volume 10, Number 2
Copyright © 2015
by Leah Browning, Editor.
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published in the Apple
Valley Review are retained
by the individual authors