Only You Know I Could Never Be a Deerheart Slayer

Only You Know I Could Never Be a Deerheart Slayer

by Ryder Collins

the old mens follow me down grocery aisles. they say, northern girl, how about some canned beets? they say, northern girl, look at this cucumber, they say, northern girl, northern girl, they say, share some Black Jack gum & your hoochie with us. then they unzip their trousers and these guys are so old nothing keeps them up and they’re wearing sock garters and spats. that’s when I runs from them & they say, that old skidoo… that old skidoo.

you know I’m good at giving the old skidoo.

you taught me all the moves.

& maybe later I’ll go tease those old guys at the vfw. it’s just up the road. maybe I’ll run into the woodsman first & he’ll hand me a locked box with bambi’s heart in it. then I can play. then I can take bambi’s heart & hand it to the next mans and say, look, I give you this. and the mans won’t know any better, & then I’ll laugh a wicked queen laugh.

it will reverberate through deerheart chambers

it will reverberate through woodsmanheart chambers & valves even

it will reverberate through

it will reverb



once I counted your chambers; once I counted your heartbeats every night. felt your heart slowing, palm outstretched on your chest, my fingers longgrasping over sinews and skin for something you said or something you hid or something you never had but wanted all along yet

Ryder Collins lives in the dirty South. Her novel, Homegirl!, is available from Honest Publishing Press. Her work has also been published in Wigleaf, > kill author, DIAGRAM, The Southeast Review, and Fix It Broken, among others. She has a chapbook of poetry, Orpheus on toast.

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