a business trip to St. Paul, Minnesota

a business trip to St. Paul, Minnesota


I used to think I ran this town

but I was just another cocky kid

with a little bit of talent

that made me feel more important

than I was.

The only person that knew anything about me

was me.

And I didn’t know much.

I knew only

that I wanted to drink in bars,

fight fools,

eat good food,


and write stories.


I quickly discovered

the danger in excess.

That if a man drinks too much,

eats too much,

fights and fucks too much,

he packs on pounds,

breaks fingers

on teeth,

and disappoints his mother.

She gets so upset

all she can muster is,

“You swear too much in your writing.”

Every girl fucks.

I found that out too,

but not the good ones.

The good ones could give a shit less

about your urges,

your aches,

the blueness they make.

What sets them apart

is that they love you.

And they do it no matter what.

Like a job.

And those are the girls that men should marry.


I realize now that I never ran this town.

That my talent has dwindled.

And that my true connection

to St. Paul, Minnesota is the one I’m making tonight.

Just another chubby husband,

staying at the Country Inn Suites,

in town on business

on the eve of a snow storm,

making ends meet,

while my wife—

sweet, sweet, S.B.—

so perfect and pretty and impossible

is 586 miles away

doing the most important job

in the world,

as she tucks our babies in to bed,

says prayers,

and kisses their cheeks.


~ K.J.



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