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She dreamed of horses, all the best girls
did. He was not the first, though maybe
he was, and the second had no time
for her, an hour at most, to talk her
into climbing higgledy-piggledy up
the hill to pry the lid off the standpipe,
squat over that maw and let fly.
He was bitten. Malaria never left his blood
no matter how many pale girls he had,
pressing his seed into their mouths,
face serene above the vinegar jar
where everything was scrubbed
clean with a stiff brush.
The second had heat, a barn-sour scent
that dizzied her. She could not bear his
rogue proximity, the way he bucked
when summer spread green foam
at his feet. His voice alone at morning
made her dangerous, made her rear
All her ponies ran with their heads thrown in the air.
All her ponies stamped in the mud and balked.
All her ponies pulled back their dark ruby
lips to speak.
© 2004 Rebecca Loudon
Rebecca Loudon lives and writes in Seattle, Washington. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Pacific Review, Portland Review, Crab Orchard Review, Seattle Review and Borderlands: The Texas Poetry Review. Her full length collection of poetry, Tarantella, is forthcoming from Ravenna Press.