Reader Poem — Leah Mueller

Leah Mueller wrote this poem in response to the September Poetry prompts:

NOT BIG ENOUGH FOR TWO OF US

Cowboy cologne on the range:
bent over gunslingers’ chaps
drip with sweat and horse’s blood.
Their hands grip the lariat even in slumber,
as they toss fitfully
underneath rough blankets
beneath the waxing moon,
without bathing, ever
or brushing their teeth, or flossing
the wedged pieces
of boiled buffalo hide
from between the crevices,
then flicking them into the fire.
Sleeping with boots on, they dream
of death and whiskey,
and curling snake tattoos,
tongues flicking like triggers.
There is no point
in trying to smell better,
The sun will continue to rise,
like a grim enemy from the desert,
that same enemy you shot dead yesterday.

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