Nipple Hair

by Ann Pedone
Jack in the situation room with Bobby on the phone

his penis hiding somewhere between his legs 

Or, maybe it is just the direct line to Khrushchev set up by State two 
weeks before 

He scratches it 

Picks up a black pen and waving it at the phone feels all of his milk 

come up from his testicles into his belly 

Jackie is in the residence trying out a new box of light bulbs 

the kind that always seem to have moral questions 

Before he ran for the Senate he was most famous in Boston for 

being the man who could get a hard-on just from someone 
touching his left


Every neuron in his cock fires twice

Then he says the word Moscow and inhales all the air in the 

the red muscles behind his eyes twitch 

his lungs close wetly around the map of Cuba taped to the table 

And the fish along the shores of Kennebunkport rise 
to the surface 

I told Jackie I have never known where to put all of my need 

Later, in a night full of sticky dreams and rice

he will move his fist 

to the center of 

his chest, rub the wet skin around his neck 

I need to stop sleeping with my mouth open 
otherwise I will wake with a belly full of husbands

The body and one’s sex are two parallel lines that never meet 

or so said Walter Cronkite

And he rings the front desk at the Parker Hotel, says that 

a certain Mr. Birch would like room 347 for Wed and 
Thurs of the following 



his nipple hair and turns off every single last one 
of the lights

About the author

Ann Pedone is the author of The Medea Notebooks (spring, 2023 Etruscan Press), and The Italian Professor’s Wife (2022, Press 53), as well as the chapbooks The Bird Happened, perhaps there is a sky we don’t know: a re-imagining of sappho, Everywhere You Put Your Mouth, Sea [break], and DREAM/WORK. Her work has recently appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, Chicago Quarterly Review, The Louisville Review, and New York Quarterly. She has been nominated for Best of the Net, and has appeared as Best American Poetry’s “Pick of the Week."

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