by Frankie Collins

You were 12 the year

we spent our Saturdays in

that musty basement,


thumbs hooked in belt loops

as our socked feet pounded out

the Southside Shuffle


on Mom’s green rag rug,

pausing our practice only

to drink grape Kool-Aid


and discuss how we

would boot scoot our way onto

The White Horse Saloon.


The folks wouldn’t let

us go to Nashville that year.

Or the next. And now


it’s ten years and six

houses later. We’re fields

away from Kansas,


sitting on our roof

top that’s still damp from honky-

tonk twilight. You have


graduated up

to Amaretto mixed with

Welch’s, and I have


my Colt 45

positioned between my hands,

ready to draw. The


party swirls out

the windows, kisses our cheeks,

joins us. We watch these


dancers arabesque,

backs bent to Stevie Wonder’s

superstitions. We


have given up hope

for that TNN limelight,

and settle for just


being. Our asses

are too wide for those Rocky

Mountains, anyways.