at a silo in a part of Leoti
she does not know. The prairie grasses
around us move as an ear on a cat would
to listen, the way stalks on sunflowers tilt
to put sun in their seeds and petals.
It is dark–the shade of well water,
and the stars are not ours, but we see them
up there, like sequins on a black dress.
Bea takes off her underwear,
and it falls into the heater. I take off
her shirt, and my hands hold her
as if it is my first time, my fingers
like rain that runs over the body
rather than falling upon it.
Her shirt and bra go
to my car hood, and her knee
is at my belt loop, and the car lights come
down that long dirt road and speed by.
Then, the dark Camero backs up,
and we are in our car, too, being chased
into town. All I have known
are the suburbs with their street signs
and traffic lights, and their waxed police cruisers
on nearly every corner, and then
there is Bea, a prairie girl; I’ve known her only five months,
and the land that brought her up: the heather
in autumn, the valleys that hold a little water
at their bases, and the sparse shelter belts that call in the birds.
We beat the other car into town, and it turns,
and vanishes, and we wonder if that was their land–
if they chased us for violence or sport. I rest
my hand on Bea’s thigh, and we quit thinking, quit
speaking, and kiss.
— Kevin Rabas
Kevin Rabas co-directs the creative writing program at Emporia State University. He has two books of poems, Bird’s Horn–and Lisa’s Flying Electric Piano, a Kansas Notable Book and Nelson Poetry Book Award winner.