Shelly Taylor

from Land Wide To Get A Hold Lost In

I thought the thing would run unbridled over the land if not stayed.  The earth would take the hoof & the horse would belong to mist over ether, over the hillside, churning the earth, I must’ve walked all the way home barefoot the way a child does.  A woman boards a train to please her father over love, what necessity keeps me here, what ‘what can I get you’ is the hand that perchance is the evener.


Total the longing for the horse & the land, call him fast with whistle, call him Mark & father by his name, call 9-1-1.  Quick to the Chick-fil-A, that trailer leaves off with my horse in it, meaning dust me off the ground in any partnership lingo.  I went west fast as two pistols, left the city suckled under the land, my bottles in their speedrack; blame silent movies for Mary Pickford’s death by bottle, blame Douglas Fairbanks, the land; not that I ever would.

*    *    *   *

On the eve of great change we each take a pregnancy test for no or all reasons just to look forward again.  Yes we can!  Yes we can! manage fast train Union Pacific brakes like a man has his leg stuck in-between the rails; woman, baby, buggy caught, arms waving, hand-rush-mouth, stop that shit (train) in a nano, recourse our way of pause through or by eyebrow plucking—pick a new hobby—kick boxing, whatever to learn to pedal back, enjoy the art of being/sleeping alone; reteach yourself to knit; browse old cds like Boys for Pele or something less tragic as in Metallica.  How to learn/teach defiance, like I ain’t never needed you or nothin’, don’t/can’t miss the way you were checkin’ in on my sweatin’ through the night I had the flu, forgot my soup & oh the whistle clangs the oncoming.  Take a new one, I could/can of course, not pause in my car when I think you to marry, when I have never before thought marry in my car, why should/would I think now in this man-town I don’t really keep awake for, don’t really think much of Jesus cept when I think my belly or Norma Jean, sweep the floor, for god’s sake don’t text when yr drankin’ keep bangin’.

*    *    *   *

Can’t pull out of here because you’ve packed your boxes a twixt too much, just stay awhile & see if Marilyn charmed or if women just hated her cause the wolves needed her beauty, would leave em out the door if she dared scratch her chin & look.  Marilyn’s mama dyed her hair red, a flapper, learnt from her mama how to divorce & pack boxes, leave her with those religious neighbors, come back when the wind shifted itself right or when work failed, when she was down on the money, meaning both my hands have been out.  Joan Crawford was an elitist, a betch, even.  Some girls don’t own more than two suits, flats to church are more than fine, get off the train in wool in a New York summer & you would sweat too—give us the ice cream!  I used to wonder if she was in & out of the orphanages all her young life until somebody, marry me, put a ring on it, or did she ever have the feeling this is my home.  When she felt most home, did the wolves attack her, in the form of her mother’s best friend Grace’s drunk husband needing a screw.  Mama Grace sending her to the next foster care, the next grinding poverty.  Her hair remained curled, wear rouge; no one, not even children, want a shiny face; Grace knew this & thus the décor on our dear child; this part is true.  I tell my sister on the phone we got some crazy genes, prob somewhere we’ll off the wagon & be wandering the supermarket wondering how we got in our respective cities, where’s the car, what did I say was for dinner?

return to SHAMPOO 37