Allison Parker

Harley Gals

Hell no, we ain’t riding on back. We don’t need
a man’s waist to straddle for balance.
You have to lean with me, not against me.
We’ve heard it all before. A head turns

every ten seconds. Watch as we ride past,
our leather pony-tail straps so heavy they don’t blow
in the breeze. Our wrists twist-ready. We know
how to throttle, how to clutch. Engine-headed,

we ride against chapping wind, our faces
bug-splattered red. Look ahead.
A man calls his Road King
she. We call our Dynas by name:

Hell-raiser, Bone-breaker, Skull-shaker.
Look out, here we come
revving. Watch how we rein a rocket between our legs
and know we didn’t learn it from a man.

Oh sure, we’ve heard the man’s lessons:
It’s not if you wreck but when.
Look, lean, roll.
Kick the hot hunk of metal away

from your own soft flesh.
It’s a joke so obvious we forget
to laugh about it: Boys, we’ve known it all along.
How do you think we learned to live?

Allison Parker is a third year MFA candidate at the University of Memphis with a focus on fiction. Originally from Dover, Tennessee, she holds a BA in English and philosophy from Austin Peay State University. She is a past participant of The Frost Place Conference on Poetry. Her fiction is forthcoming from Moon City Review.

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