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"Billy" • Horsegirl (by Kirsten Reneau)

Everyone else sways, but they move like cells under the microscope, a constant molecular shifting of limbs, moving and bumping up against each other with a feeling that is too big for their bodies. It is summer, the air conditioner isn’t working at this bar-turned-venue, and everyone smells like cheap beer and sweat. The only thing clear is that there is about a foot difference between them and the shorter one is wearing, of all things, a sweater. In the dark, it is impossible tell their gender, their presentation. Otherwise, it is just the eclipsing outline of the movements, getting faster, more frantic. Some patrons shift out to allow the electricity in their skin a space to breathe; others get closer, attracted to the idea of falling into the pit. Occasionally the taller one dips down so they are able to bump shoulder to shoulder, becoming two soft moons rotating around a planet that is too invisible, too intimate for anyone else to see.

Kirsten Reneau is a writer living in New Orleans. Her first collection, Sensitive Creatures, will be out with Belle Point Press in March of 2024.


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