fiction, poetry & more


by Susan McDonough-Hintz

Freshly slaughtered, hanging from
the rack, the rosy flesh
whirling in a slow dervish trance,
fat hissing, skin crackling even before
we get to North Jersey, driving up
from Ship Bottom in bare feet, denim
cut-offs, halters with rings
on our fingers, disco on the radio,
Bob the cop’s buddies herding us
into treeshade, cool deckled grass,
Jack’s own private stash of homegrown
weed making the rounds, just an excuse
for pairing up friends, troopers with coeds,
The Clash with Bee Gees,
everyone’s lips mesquite-scented,
laced with tobacco, we’re tipsy
from breathing in blasts of aftershave
splashed across five o’clock shadows,
the front lawn lit up like a switchboard
on speed, the fence rails corralling
old Pintos, a Jag, and two top-down
Mustangs, whitewalls on the driveway,
Deb’s red Firebird idling at the curb,
that hoisin and honey-glazed drizzle
of summer trickling down the broad backs
of the Blues, and I and my 19-going-on-20
girlfriends dabbing sticky sweet kisses
on any fork-tender boy who will fall
off the bone.


Susan McDonough-Hintz is a writer, editor, and web QA analyst for the Massachusetts Medical Society. Her poems have been published in the anthology Queer & Catholic, Fortunates, Message in a Bottle, and are forthcoming in Raleigh Review. Originally from South Jersey, she now lives with her wife in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.