Fuck Duke [Poem] by Ben Newell


Valentine’s Day looms as conference play heats up
and the custodian
takes a break
and stares out the window,
tells me she’s looking for a husband to pop up
out of the ground.

Of course
she’s looking in the wrong place,
nobody out there
but the usual throng of millennial college students.

She would fare much better
at the public library where I used to work,
the public library
with its much more varied crowd.

Even I managed to meet somebody while manning
the circulation desk—

Granted, that relationship didn’t last very long;
she cared more about Duke basketball
and Duke basketball
and Duke basketball
and wouldn’t even suck me off after they beat North Carolina
83-81 in overtime.

Ben Newell, 43, works as a library clerk at a small college in Jackson, Mississippi.  He has poems appearing and/or forthcoming in Chiron Review, Mad Swirl, Nerve Cowboy, Pink Litter, Your One Phone Call, and others.

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