The Plot Against the Baby | Sarah Trudgeon

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Sarah Trudgeon is the author of Dreams of Unhappinessselected and introduced by Don Paterson for the Poetry Society of America 30 and Under Chapbook Fellowship. Her poems have appeared in Diode, Horsethief, the London Review of Books, The Nation, The Paris Review, The TLS, and the anthology Eight Miami Poets. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the MFA program at the University of Florida, she serves as managing editor of Sink Review and lives in Great Barrington, MA, where she is the director of education for The Mastheads and teaches poetry in public schools.
Baby Talks Trash

“My friend Instant George will not clean up his messes.
Instead, when the dog ‘has an accident’
or he spills his Earl Breakfast, he cuts the soiled square
of carpet out with an X-acto knife. To be fair,
he says, ‘I love you’ and loves Vaseline
and is generally really easy to be around.
He casually sticks his hand down his pants
and doesn’t mind if you do either. He’ll dance
the foxtrot if he has a partner—

But if he gets embarrassed, you better watch out,
it’s ‘Look-it, buddy; I’ll crack ya one, pal.’
See, this is what happens. He gets so angry
he stutters, his lip trembles like a loose exhaust
on a truck with a snow plow,
the driver watching his breath as the frost
on the windshield slowly clears.”

I say, “I know just how George feels.
Whatever it is, he doesn’t have it.
It must hurt, to be a person in whom nothing coheres.
The only thing to say about Instant George
is that he’ll be so, so—maybe even the most—forgotten,
and you should be nice to him, le pauvre.”