What’s Goin’ On?


ca. 2008


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.


[Purchase Issue 13 here]

Jonathan Moody is the author of The Doomy Poems and Olympic Butter Gold, which won the Cave Canem Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize. 

Julia PikeWhat’s Goin’ On?

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