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Fat Trucker, Hot Wife-Fiction by Matthew Copes
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The Map-Fiction by Jan Christensen
Old Mules-Fiction by Mickey J. Corrigan
The Right Tool for the Job-Fiction by Roy Dorman
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The Handyman-Fiction by Bobby Mathews
Till Death Do Us Part-Fiction by Justin Swartz
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Daybreak Over I-15-Poem by C. W. Blackwell
Confetti and Juicy Fruit Gum-Poem by Kenneth James Crist
Night in Cumming's Cove-Poem by Michael Keshigian
Scar-Poem by Otto Burnwell
Graveyard Love-Poem by John Grey
Plan but No Really Plan-Poem by Joe Balaz
Audible Sigh-Poem by John Tustin
Erica-Poem by John Tustin
Heartbreaker-Poem by Meg Baird
La Guitare-Poem by Meg Baird
Parking Garage-Poem by Joel Matulich
Vintage Trade Paperback-Poem by Joel Matulich
Perpetual Motion-Poem by Stephen J. Golds
The Best Ones Are the Crazy Ones-Poem by Stephen J. Golds
Black Widow-Poem by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal
Out of My Skin-Poem by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal
The Terrible Shadows-Poem by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal
Lucky Number Seven-Poem by Bradford Middleton
The Old Routine of Dreaming and Blasting-Poem by Bradford Middleton
F**K It, Let's Listen to the Ramones-Poem by Bradford Middleton
Our Open Window-Poem by Ayaz Daryl Nielsen
Wandering Woman-Poem by Ayaz Daryl Nielsen
Winter's Twilight Sky-Poem by Ayaz Daryl Nielsen
You, I, Together-Poem by Ayaz Daryl Nielsen
Each Day-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
Ghost Dance-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
He Paid For-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
Winter Woman-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Angel of Manslaughter
Strange Gardens
Gutter Balls
Calpurnia's Window
No Place Like Home
ALAT
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

84_ym_erica_amr.jpg
Art by Ann Marie Rhiel 2021

ERICA

 

by John Tustin

 

It was about a year ago.

The weather was just the same as it is tonight,

All fog and gloomy post-rain puddles.

I was newly paid and looking through Backpages

When I saw Erica—

Very pretty face, about my age,

Claimed to be Puerto Rican and Egyptian

Only $75 for 45 minutes

And she would even come to me.

I sent her a text asking her if she was available

And she responded that she had no driver.

I offered to pick her up and would understand

If she did not want to and she wrote back that it

Would be no problem.

It scared me because what kind of lunatic would get in a car

With a stranger and just go to their place

But then I remembered all those fools on Tinder

So I asked for her address.

 

She was living in one of the seedy hotels and she called me,

Telling me to meet her in the back.

I texted when I got there and she came right out.

Wearing an army jacket, floral stretchpants and black boots,

Clearly fifty pounds heavier than her Backpages pics

But her face looked the same; even though it was pretty dark out

I could see that.

On the way to my place we made small talk

And I always find that excruciating.

When I buy a whore the last thing I want to know

Is a single thing about them.

I am polite, though, so I listened and I talked.

 

We got to my place and she asked to use the bathroom.

I sat on my bed and waited.

She came out and smiled at me

Then immediately began to undress.

She removed her shirt and her belly was a sagging expanse

Of wrinkles and pockmarks.

I didn’t think I could get hard for her if I tried to fuck her

So I told her I only wanted a blowjob.

I took off my clothes and stretched out on the bed sideways

As she knelt on the bed before me in just a bra and panties.

Her hands rubbing up and down my body and my balls.

I looked at her face and she looked right back at me.

I was hard in no time.

She started to suck me, no condom.

I was about to ask for one but she was really going at it –

Hands and slobbering, her head a bobbing blur.

It was just too good

And her face looked so good with my cock in it.

 

I used the whole 45 minutes and I could tell she wasn’t used to that.

I asked her and she told me that, yes, 45 minutes was usually over in 5

But it was OK I used all my time because she enjoyed “pleasing” men.

Who knows? Maybe it was true.

She sure did seem to be into it but women fool me

All the time.

 

We got dressed and she disappeared again into the bathroom.

She asked me if we could make a stop because she needed to get food

For herself and her daughter and I said we could.

I wished she didn’t mention her daughter because all I could think about

Was whether or not her daughter knew what mommy did for a living.

She wanted to go to McDonald’s and as we drove there

I asked her about her daughter

(I guess now that my balls were empty I became interested in her life).

Her daughter was in high school and knew what she did— “It is what it is”

And I imagined this poor girl hearing the buzz of my text,

Thinking I was some middle-aged pervert who saw her mother

Not as a person but as a product

Which is exactly what I was

And exactly what I did.

I wondered what her daughter thought of men.

It disgusted me to think about it.

 

I asked Erica more questions.

She worked as a receptionist for a record company in the ‘90s

And they went under.

She became a prostitute to make ends meet and the money was a lot better

Than being a cashier or a waitress.

I imagined she used to make a lot more than $75 for 45 minutes when she was twelve years younger

And 50 lbs. lighter but I didn’t ask about that.

She ate French fries as we drove and she never stopped the smile in her voice.

I asked a lot of questions and talked a little about myself.

She was not a junkie needing to feed her habit

Or a party girl hooked on the late nights and the money.

No, she was a mother with a kid, needing to make a living

And that night her job was to get me off.

Sad.

 

I dropped her off where I picked her up and we said goodbye.

I drove away, my car stinking like McDonald’s even though Erica took it all with her.

The image I had of her daughter staring out of the window wondering what her mother was doing,

If she was going to come back.

Living in a hotel, moving from place to place,

Knowing her mother fucked men for a living.

It was a maddening, nauseating image in my mind.

I saw her face, the hollow eyes.

That poor girl.

 

The rain started up again.

I flicked on the wipers

And as I moved in my seat I felt post-cum sticking my cock-slit

To my underwear.

It was one of the best blowjobs I ever had.

Her face did look good with my cock in the middle of it

As she bobbed, her hands two lovely light brown machines

Twisting in tandem.

 

I kept thinking about it.

 

I never called Erica again.



John Tustin’s poetry has appeared in many disparate literary journals in the last dozen years. fritzware.com/johntustinpoetry



Ann Marie Rhiel is the Assistant Art Director for Yellow Mama Webzine. She was born and raised in Bronx, New York, presently living in New Jersey. She reconnected with her passion for art in 2016 and has had her work exhibited in art galleries around northern New Jersey ever since. She is a commissioned painting artist, who also enjoys photography. Her work has also appeared in Black Petals and Megazine Official.

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2021