“Cheap Talk” by Karla Huston

Karla Huston


While talking to students about aging
and sex the other day, I read disgust on their lips
when they considered parents and grandparents
having it. One kid said he couldn’t imagine
an old guy actually getting it up, not to mention
getting it in as if in were a destination on a wrinkled
map—hotel no-tell in a dusty town in Ohio. All that
cheap talk, their snortling and knowing smiles. Like sex
was only for the young and beautiful and doing it
was beautiful to see which, of course,
it isn’t. All those upended parts, privates
exposed, the inside body smells, the playground
between two sewers, the plunge and grunt, posturing
for position. The worry about fit and flattery,
performance and         review.
The act so animal like, ball and socket,
tab and slot push and shove         bang and
cushion. Of course no one thinks
about that—the acrobatics, the open mouths,
the hard wetness, the way it feels when man enters
the deep slice, the filling vessel         the hopeful work
to get to where it feels so damned right.

from Rattle #25, Summer 2006
Tribute to the Best of Rattle


Karla Huston: “Reading poetry is like a walk in a prairie: Black-eyed Susans bobble in a sea of green, Queen Anne’s Lace doilies float above the leather tongues of burdock. There is a surprise in every turn of word, and in every phrase and line, something new grows.” (web)

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