“I WILL NEVER BE A COWBOY” by Katrina Agbayani

Katrina Agbayani


TV announcer says let’s be horrified and
these spitting men in pretty costumes
test how long they can ride out a crazed
animal. trophies for whoever can prove that
I am a COWBOY that I DOMINATE the
crazed animal
with a mouth full of shiny
teeth, meat-eating teeth, gatorade and
premature dentured teeth that reflect the
stage lights like the sullen calf reflects the
dark belly of desire: not everything pretty
can be spared. start the pageant. roll the
cameras. make fury look like a hobby like
it’s not something to be ground into —I
want to kiss the unhinged jaw of the crazed
animal and promise that I could never be a
cowboy God won’t let me be a cowboy
look me in the eye and tell me I’m not my
own worst animal

KATRINA AGBAYANI is currently studying English literature. Her work appears in the UC Review, Trinity Review, and has been awarded the OECTA Young Authors Prize. When not writing, she can be found biking by unnamed fields.

This poem originally appeared in SAND 22.