I could have loved Cody
or Hickok or Dillon or Doc.
I would have loved the feel of trail dust
falling from the brim of a worn hat
to powder my naked breasts.
I do love callused hands,
muscle and bone of cold steel,
silver flecked hair tousled wild
by riding across the desert,
skin bronzed crisp by wind blown sun.
They were the kind of men
a woman would just go bad for,
die for, without thinking of dying;
living only to feel those rough hands
roaming her own hills and valleys.
I would love to be kissed
tenderly by warm soft lips,
parting hungrily to take their fill
atop moonlit mesas,
and by hidden desert pools.
When the same owl sounds
and meadowlark songs
echo through my window
as the cowboy heard in lonely trail camps,
I think he might have loved me with such fire.
Sometimes, the hunger for it
makes me feel lonesome
clear to the pit of my belly.
The years between us cannot be crossed,
yet I know; I could have loved a cowboy.
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Comments about this poem (Cowboys by Shirley Alexander )
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