On Marvin Gaye’s birthday, the D.J.
introduces “Sexual Healing” as the sole song
responsible for why some of his listeners exist.
If he & his wife were having trouble conceiving,
he would’ve skipped over the cliché
the way he skipped over the details
of Marvin’s tragic death, the way elders
can skip over real talk: like how, in their day,
producing classic records was as easy
as producing children. My wife
& I have gotten it on to as many Motown
Greatest Hits Albums as there are brands
of red wine. Still, no baby. The only magic
we have access to is spelled with a “j”:
as in “You’re listening to Majic 102.1.”
I wish I could sing a song in a growling
rasp so sexy each note becomes dipped
in a fertility drug that won’t make
my wife experience the side effect
of blurry vision. Shadé wants a child
so badly she can see him in her dreams
reaching out to touch her nose.
I never told her this, but if we were
to ever have a girl I would love
to name her April: Latin for Open.
There was a time when I didn’t allow
the idea of marriage, of offspring, to bud
like a Mimosa’s pink blooms. But here
I am encouraging Shadé we should move
away from Houston in favor of Fresno:
where the traffic flows smoothly
like Marvin’s tenor, like food to the placenta.
Jonathan Moody is the author of The Doomy Poems and Olympic Butter Gold, which won the Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize.