1955 Whitewashed Denim

1955 Whitewashed Denim

by Henry Goldkamp


A husband marries bedrock

and a beautiful model.


He pulls jeans on her,

digs two holes,


inserts her slippered feet,

and fills the root-cracked gaps.


Thus begins a prison—

two sunny blue pickets—


planting as many clad gams

to his yard as he prefers,


but alfresco mistresses must be 5′ 5″

to keep Pomeranians in, intruders


out. No need for a cut of stump—

just elbow grease her a little deeper.


Careful now! Don’t weed-eat

a picket shin to unwoven blood.


He groans to his neighbor about this

scorcher over their sunburnt scalps


as he paints your grandmother

the dull color of his war-bleached heart


and watches, watches her

take all the credit


for quiet wisterias creeping

across her rotten denim belly.


Henry Goldkamp has lived in major cities along the Mississippi River his entire life—a fancy way of saying Saint Louis and New Orleans. Recent work appears in Wild Violet, Third Wednesday, BULL, Blood Orange Review, b(OINK), Sierra Nevada Review, Pretty Owl, Permafrost, and others. His work has been twice nominated for 2017’s Best of the Net. His public art projects have been covered by Time and NPR.

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