Outside Seguin, a billboard says you can hunt year round
-- in safety --  and the Army boys love it.
They gather the way the Navy boys gathered in our livingroom
where I brought beer, wore shorts against my husband's edicts,
stayed across the counter while they watched the movie:
a naked man bent over a blonde woman on her hands and knees,
the veins on his arms and neck standing out
as he held her shoulders, her throat, rammed at her
until she wasn't pretending, until her eyes widened
with surprise, then fear, and she was thrashing
and the only sound you could hear was his breathing, her choking
until his harsh wail covered everything in my house
and she didn't move any more. The tail of the eight millimeter reel
slapped the projector and nobody said anything --
just like I don't say anything now, driving across the Pecos, left
foot up on the dashboard to catch the wind, long tan expanse of
thigh exposed, as a trucker passing hisses his airbrakes
and swerves. I don't even give him the finger.
But I think about the way those two thumbs on the temples
held my head steady while that tongue traced a line
from ear to clavicle, palms on my carotids.
I remember the Beretta between us, its blue heft warming
on my belly, my hand resting on its grip, as a man
whose name I can't remember moved in me.
Out here now, the night is coming on, and when the moon rises
full and burning, I'll kill the lights and ride the shining
white line into the desert dark.

Ellen Dudley

ELLEN DUDLEY is the author of Slow Burn ( Provincetown Arts Press, 1997). Her work has  appeared or is forthcoming in TriQuarterly, Agni, Massachusetts Review, The Poetry Miscellany, Phoebe  and other magazines. She is the winner of a Vermont Council on the Arts Fellowship and is founding editor/publisher of the Marlboro Review. She lives in Marlboro, Vermont where she is co-owner of a construction company.
The Adirondack Review