— for Wendy

Those winding roads where we stuck out
our thumbs to any cars that came.

Wyoming: miles of cowboys, mountains
we’d never climb

that seemed to love us anyway,
looming, as they did, no matter

where we stood.
The little steak knives

we put in our purses,
thinking we’d use them

if we had to: How would you like to be
altered? we practiced saying

and then cracked up,
thirteen, immortal

in purple halters
on the gravel highway shoulder,

stumbling in our too-high heels,
making up our faces

and our lives. I wish I could
tell those girls

how beautiful they are,
but they can’t hear me.

The sky’s so big above them,
they can’t even see it.