—Woman on a TV commercial Sometimes, as I raced the bases after dinner, Mom’s pot roast and chocolate pie would join hands to wring my guts. Once a cramp seized me halfway across Green Lake, my anaconda-bowels straining to drag me down. Charlie-horsed sixty feet deep, I pulled back on my Scuba fin till the clutching in my fatted calf let go. As for bloating—I’ve seen dead dogs blown tick-tight. I’ve hauled red snapper up 200 feet through Gulf Stream blue, their jewel-eyes popped, swollen swim-bladders poking from their mouths in pink Fuck yous. I’ve had gas pains, but never said, as a guy who (once and only once) dated my wife-to-be, did after a meal— not, “Let’s lounge like satraps, and lick honey from one another’s skin,” but “Let’s go home and bloat.” I’ve never sipped tea while discussing menses on TV, but I’ve slurped coffee and wolfed a fresh-caught rainbow by a freestone stream, so glad to be there, my throat cramped and my heart rose, tight as a blimp, above the trees.
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