January 2005 / Volume VI / Issue I
Nathan Graziano

Billy In The Hot Tub

We were at my cousin’s house
for my grandmother’s birthday party,
and there was a hot tub in the backyard.
Billy, my cousin’s husband,
who had already downed
a 40-ounce of Colt 45 on the ride,
couldn’t resist himself and borrowed
a bathing suit from the cabana.

Like a liquored bee circling
the hive for shelter, I grabbed some trunks
and joined Billy while our wives
stayed sober and watched our kids.
I asked Billy if he thought it was wrong
that we sat in a Jacuzzi–
an amenity we couldn’t afford
if you combined our salaries–
while Liz and Jaime pulled at their hair
trying to keep our children calm.

Billy passed me a bottle
of Peppermint Schnapps he found
on a shelf in the cabana and said,
“Why the fuck not? Now take a shot.
Hey, that shit rhymes, don’t it?
I guess you’re not the only poet
with a jet stream up his ass.”