The men hold their sticks,
chalked at the tips, smashing
balls against one another, ordering
Mich Ultras & Budweisers
& my phone number, tipping
me when they remember as they tip
glass bottles to their chapped, thirsty
lips, puckered like the assholes they are
after the sixth beer settles in their guts.
Jessica Cory teaches at Western Carolina University and is a PhD candidate in English at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. She is the editor of Mountains Piled upon Mountains: Appalachian Nature Writing in the Anthropocene (WVU Press, 2019) and the co-editor (with Laura Wright) of Appalachian Ecocriticism and the Paradox of Place (UGA Press, 2023). Her creative and scholarly writings have been published in the North Carolina Literary Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Northern Appalachia Review, and other fine publications. Originally from southeastern Ohio, she currently lives in Sylva, North Carolina.
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