The Jackpot

The Jackpot

by Letitia Trent

The monogamous are like the very rich. They have to find their poverty. They have to starve themselves enough.
-Adam Philip

We are too flush

our bosky hedge funds
are fecund—
we calculate the slow
growth the return

but let’s try to poormouth
again I’ll be Cinderella
pre-slipper and you
be a cockney starveling

we’ll settle
in the slums together
hold struck matches—
our barren grate

won’t bloom—
against our fingers
where they have purpled
in December

we’ll wolf cold
casseroles of aspic and crackers
afterward still famished

we’ll shake off our
poor white delicates
and glut until surfeited see

how easy
it can be—the slow slide
soft as
a rummage sale t-shirt—

when you have nothing else
to say take me
into your alms
and mean it?


Letitia Trent has had work appear in the Denver Quarterly, The Black Warrior Review, Fence, Folio, The Journal, and Blazevox, among others. Her chapbooks are Splice (Blue Hour Press) and The Medical Diaries (Scantily Clad Press). Her first full-length poetry collection, One Perfect Bird, is available from Sundress Publications. She was the 2010 winner of the Alumni Flash Writing Award from the Ohio State University’s The Journal and has been awarded fellowships from The Vermont Studio Center and the MacDowell Colony. She writes film review for the blog Bright Wall in a Dark Room. The above poem is included in One Perfect Bird and is reprinted here with permission of the author.

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