New Work

Screwing with the Cowboys

With you here, it’s hard to care
much about burned-out lightbulbs
and early mornings.
I am so happy with you,
Anhedonia, but that man
still rolls around my head.
His hands are kind
and as white as chicken fat.
His swaggering thoughts
and his eyes are strong
like masturbatory moonshine.
I hold you from behind
while you take me away
on the back of a red-headed horse.
You tell me you found a place that will cure me,
where mud is a Xanexed wonder
and kindness fills the veins of everything.
You help me down into the mud
and I pulse there and fall back
into my limping mind.
October is over, finally,
but it peels into November
with more shit luck.
So I live through you, Anhedonia:
I rotate through the tissues around your bones
and skirt the walls of your veins.
I learn there what a real woman is
and this realness is why men hate us so.
Outside a desert saloon,
I watch the fringe hanging from your jacket.
You are my sassy cowgirl,
moving like the tailfeathers of an angelfish
as you spit and dig your heels into the sand.
Lethal and packing, we stand outside
the swinging doors and laugh about the cliché.
Many men are behind these doors.
We will enter and they will insist
they can save everything.
All of it. Especially us.
We will keep our life and keep them away,
resuming our kinky adventures
as the poor girls on the block
with closed drapes and unmade beds.

© Carrie McGath, 2022