for Bill Kloefkom

In the July hot smelly horse manure dust
out behind old man Mooney’s barn
that sits just at the outskirts of the town
Lester comes upon the treasure for which
he kept his eyes close to the ground
and searched for half the summer:
a yellowed tag of a corner of a page
of  Police Gazette ! And there, on the cover
in blushing faded pink,
caught in the hand of some sort of
nasty villain Lester hates who holds
a blood-dripping knife high in the air, is the semi-
almost naked nearly bare-ass tit
of some silently screaming woman—
and more! inside! Inside the barn
Lester smells the hay sweet smell and
dust almost enough to make him vomit
and the dark makes it hard
to see, and them really all mostly
covered up, those tits, but
what details are lacking Lester’s
mind supplies, all that much more
wicked since he can only imagine—
he’s never seen a picture of the whole thing
or even a real one except on Mrs. Dorsett’s cows
next farm away from Uncle Henry’s
and that’s not quite the same idea.
But God Almighty Jesus strike me down
if there’s anything the matter with this—
and God does, too, only in the form
of Link Fowler, town leather jacket tough
who just now had the idea
of breaking Mr. Mooney’s eggs while
cutting across an open field
passing the barn and chicken sheds on the way
to the Saturday afternoon matinee.
And who’s just mean enough to laugh
and spread it all over school next fall
and all the way down to the pool hall
that he caught Lester Pyrtle
in old man Mooney’s barn Saturday
with his most nasty thoughts exposed
and his imagination pumping a mile a minute
and Lester Pyrtle can only laugh he’s so surprised
so much he can’t close his eyes
so much he finally closes them and cries.