Magnolia S-10 (Joseph Daniel Duffy)

I threw out two bad oranges 

I listened to John Prine I packed 

a month of clothes up I felt 

just like you I hid my love I bought 

a new truck to soak in the small 

town bliss my life is an awful 

mess in the love is on a roll 

years at twenty-three in Sunflower

I got up early to drive into teach 

on a perfect road in a perfect 

country I bought tomatoes 

on the roadside I danced 

with the woman selling 

them every morning I taught 

Fanon to children I broke my teeth 

in on the bar I kissed 

who is now your wife I carved 

a séance in the steely face 

of the mayor’s hand I danced 

a death dance at night I wore 

Brooks Brothers and drank scotch I torched 

the band hall I fired the football 

coach I wrecked the truck 

in the magnolia I fucked 

in the azaleas I pissed in the square 

named for the dead jazz 

master I stole the bar I loved 

my askance teeth I took 

your best years away 

from you and smiled


Favorite drink: Topo Chico with lime. 


1 12oz bottle of Topo Chico 

1 lime slice 

1 pinch of salt (optional) 

Recipe: Use a bottle opener, a BIC lighter, or the edge of a counter or table, to remove the metal bottle cap from the glass bottle. 

Squeeze the slice of lime into the open bottleneck covering the lime with your offhand to protect others’ eyes from the lime juice. 

Once the slice has been wrung insert the lime into the open bottleneck using your thumb. 

Insert your thumb fully into the open bottleneck creating a seal between the carbonated mineral water and the outside world.

Keeping your thumb inserted into the open bottleneck, and while grasping the bottle with the rest that same hand–flip the bottle upside down a couple of times. 

Return the bottle to its upright position. Set it on the counter and remove your thumb from its hole. 

Try and rub some salt around the rim and into the hole if you feel like it. 



Joseph Daniel Duffy was born in Gautier, Mississippi. He is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He now lives in Austin, Texas. 


image: MM Kaufman