The ease past kinetic rein and kick,
perfect form and fast.
I know exactly what I look like.
My posture and responsive hair,
this raingray riding jacket, the pasture.
Rachel used to work here
so I got the palomino
all afternoon and it got dark,
the only blonde things in the forest.
We met all the cowboys at the bonfire
in their cowboy hats.
She plays the accordion, Rachel got to say to them.
We ran breathless.
We weren't riding anymore.
Growing up on a farm I expected it to come back.
And years of piano lessons to play this corrido.
If you told me to take this stick off the ground
and lick it, why I'd do it!
Rachel says. I am like the silent film star in her video
of the fire and my laugh, like Clara Bow in Parisian Love
where she doesn't know how to be a lady
but she wants to.

Lauren Hilger was named the 2012 Nadya Aisenberg Fellow from the MacDowell Colony. A finalist for the Iowa Review Award and the Wabash Prize, her work has appeared in Black Warrior Review, The Cortland Review, and Harvard Review, among other journals.

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761