I knew I'd lost my high-school sweetheart
when Lisa's cheeks flushed as the guy
in the pen groomed his prize-winning pig,
Mable, at the 1967 Cheyenne County Fair.
Hargis or Evert or Dilbert -- whatever his name --
knew what was happening. "Jump in here," he said.
"She aint gonna hurt you, but watch she don't bite you."
Lisa gave me a look that said, a real man wouldn't fear a
a six hundred pound champion grunter.
I leapt into the pen wearing skin tight Levis
and Beatle Boots. Let me tell ya, pig poop
isn't kind to high-heeled suede footwear.
Our band, The Rogues, was popular in our little
town. I was a terrific drummer and sang lead on
"Twist and Shout" at our gigs although
my voice would never worry John Lennon.
Rock and roll wasn't all -- I loved the yearning
in Dvorak's Largo Theme, the triumph and fortitude
in Grieg's piano concerto, and how
Rachmaninoff made my heart more than a pump.
The complexity and precision of Picasso's cubism
moved me and the Dali's I'd seen turned reality around
the way snow rejigged Cheyenne in winter. I'd even
begun to grasp Euthyphro's hubris in "instructing"
Socrates on the nature of impiety to the gods.
Yet there I was jammed into a dirt pen with a 600 pound porcine
beauty who'd hit the jackpot in the Cheyenne's stockyards,
a sadistic hog-herder, and a starstruck, wavering,
quavering, seduction-ready girlfriend.
"She likes bein' petted," Wilber said. "You kin tech her."
He gazed dreamingly at Lisa who urged me on with
an imperious head-nod. So I petted this pitiless porker,
progenitor of Oscar Meyer's financial future.
Mable's bristly skin felt like a cheap hair brush coated
with Brylcreem. As if on cue, several hundred pounds
of pig twitched and pinned me against the slats of her pen.
I heard my jeans rip and remembered that I hadn't worn
underwear that day. My crotch opened like
the Flaming Gorge in Rock Springs. My family
jewels poured out in all their pink grandeur --
the first and only time my high school sweetie
saw them. She ran off with her pig farmer --
was his name Lester? Otis? -- and 600 pounds
of victorious swine -- left me to twist
and shout in the Wyoming wind.