Self-Portrait as Horse Girl / Teenage Self Re-imagined as Out 

Self-Portrait as Horse Girl / Teenage Self Re-imagined as Out – Alix

She falls in love with the sweet of oats in opaque moonlight
shining through owl shit stained glass.

Two nights in a row, she sneaks
out to the barn to curry her horse,

buckskin and untamed, whom she takes after,
always prepared to run.

Three years this horse has lived, their bodies
the same four-legged beast.

She collects hair from the comb
as hagiography, stuffs plastic bags full

and hides them behind the hay bales, where later
she and some tomato-blushing girl will kiss.

Below the rafters and beside the compost,
everything reeks of manure,

the air stale and cramped, but neither
mind  because it’s their favorite smell.

She will wrap twine around her finger
like a promise. She will take her

by the soft skin beneath the bicep
like a foal’s underbelly and lead her

to the stall to free the horse, where they will ride bareback,
fingers clutching mane and hips,

to the manmade lake nearby. She will strip to her underwear
like a frenzied animal ready to swallow other animals whole

and the girl, no longer blushing,
will follow her into the water.