- Error of the Ingénue
We were in the country.
A video store let us in, thirteen. We knew where to find the VHSwe had traveled to her lake house to see. A compilationof the worst things you could watch.You could watch a cow's center sliced so all of its self came out.
One beer for four girls. We said now we have to get naked and run down the road.
We expressed ideas of not sleeping.
I thought, the woods know I want to barrel through.Imagined a wind, a sea, the moon, a bonfire, a bunch of skeletons with flags of primary colors; they're raising us up.
The best people I knew were because of homes. Who was beautiful, whose home I could be let in.
The morning of the first dayof sixth grade,
new girl in town, crush from the farm,
I broke the glass of perfumeand didn't make a face because no one was watching.
My brother and I watched a VHS called People that scared us.We hated it and asked for it over and over.
My mother tongue? Just a leaning into the wrong words, being correctedand sticking with this instead;
~ as punctuation. [End Page 211]
Don't tease, she can't take it,I want them to stop
saying of me. [End Page 212]
Lauren Hilger is the author of Lady Be Good (CCM, 2016.) Named a Nadya Aisenberg Fellow in poetry from the MacDowell Colony, she has also received fellowships from the Hambidge Center and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work has appeared or forthcoming in BOMB, Gulf Coast, Harvard Review online, Kenyon Review online, Massachusetts Review, The Threepenny Review, and elsewhere. She serves as a poetry editor for No Tokens.