Julie Babcock’s “Big Boy Ohio” is excerpted from Autoplay, which will be published this fall by Midwestern Gothic Press. Her work appears or is forthcoming in various journals including The Rumpus, [PANK], Weave, Harpur Palate, and Hayden’s Ferry Review. She’s a lecturer at the University of Michigan.
gets an apron and nametag.
She rolls pennies. The pie case turns
the color of the moon. She fills
coffee cups and sugar boxes.
She fills half-full ketchup bottles
from half-empty so customers believe
they have new natural tomatoes
boiled down and slipped into glass necks
“Hey honey,” they say before they order burgers
so neatly she might be a virgin
who sleeps under a field of stars
and soothes cows for the dinner table.