Fall 2019 / Poetry 2019 / Volume 50

The French Horn By: Will Reger

A parking lot.  The backseat of a Buick.
A lady is kissed with an appearance of passion.
The fellow who kisses her quickly 
exceeds the reach of his grasp 
and she breathes in, preparing to protest.
He senses her reluctance and stops, 
relaxes his grip, retreats to his side 

of the bench seat.  

                                                   “No rush,” 

he huffs with annoyed nonchalance.

He lights his afterward cigarette early, cracks

his window a quarter inch.

                                                “These matters are

delicate,” he says to her, to no one, to me 

as I pass the cracked and smoking window.

His accent imprints itself on my ear.

The smell of Stetson exhales from the car.

The sparkle of his little gold ring catches my eye,

the color of a brass horn.

He reaches again for her, gently, the way

a man in a tuxedo might hold a French horn,

mouth and fist and dancing fingers.

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