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Thursday, November 16, 2006


by Rochelle Ratner

When the XXX videos no longer excite her, when the
whips and handcuffs in the window of the sex shop
no longer seem like enough, she goes for a drive,
alone, along dirt roads, past farms and houses
patched with tar paper. She turns country music
stations on, then off, then on again. She spots two
mules in a field and pulls over to watch them,
plodding along side by side, tails brushing against
each other. She watches so long that the sunset
turns rows of corn a sort of scarecrow-black. She
watches the farmer drive the mules into the barn,
sees him leave a half hour later. She parks on a
nearby hill, waits till the lights go out in the
farmhouse, then drags that double-harness over to
her car, already halfway to orgasm.

Rochelle Ratner's latest poetry books include Balancing Acts (Marsh Hawk Press, 2006), Beggars at the Wall (Ikon, 2006) and House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003). She is the author of fifteen previous poetry collections and two novels (Bobby’s Girl and The Lion’s Share) both published by Coffee House Press). More information and links to her writing on the Internet can be found on her homepage.