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AR #60 Cover
number 61

by Liz Robbins

Love is Changing, And I Won't Change

I'm about to play the ingenue in a Spanish soap opera.
Tall copperskinned blackhaired Juan walks through
my trailer door to practice the kissing scene.
I dream up to the heartstopping licking of lips.
But even in the fantasy, I start coloring in the wrong
details, script curling in his fist, gold ring glinting.
Already looking for ways to flee the moment.
I get distracted not by sweatdrops on his brow or
the sound of swallowing, but the view out the
window, the horses peering from behind trailer bars,
the pupil-black of their manes, undertow of the
sun's rays. I want to be the hero. A rattlesnake curled
in the grass strikes, and I grab my rusty bike to pedal
to the vet a mile away. I fiddle with the radio till I find
soothing, classical. Watch as the vet extracts venom
from the horse's leg, watch her sew and bundle, while
I talk low, make plans to buy apples. But the dream
drifts back to my window, I watch the old blue paint rot
on the trailer door. I conjure up Juan, try to feel something.

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