At the Farm Stand

by Emily Banks

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 ReviewNew Orleans ReviewCimarron ReviewYemassee, and Pembroke Magazine.