At the Farm Stand


The billy goat attacks a small female, mounts her with his front hooves on her slim flanks and moans a string of bep-bep-beps into her neck, his tiny stiff penis poking at the air between her legs. She shrugs him off, annoyed, and saunters over to the flock of older females chewing hay. They shift, make her a space. But later she goes back, resigned, lowers her body to the ground in front of him. I want to tell her something, like You don’t need that. You can do better, girl, but then, can she? Only so many goats inside a pen. She would tell me I can’t understand, I’m only human after all, and anyway he’s different when they’re alone, he treats her better now. She looks at me with shiny brown goat eyes full of reproach. You don’t know anything.

EMILY BANKS lives in Atlanta, where she is a Ph.D. student at Emory University. She holds a BA from UNC-Chapel Hill and an MFA from the University of Maryland. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous journals including Free State Review, New Orleans Review, Cimarron Review, Yemassee, and Pembroke Magazine.