Wednesday, August 30, 2017



She rides her white horse to the moon at a wild gallop.
The animal foams and paints scars across the sky with its bloody hooves,
leaving brick-colored stains that can only be seen by astronomers or loved ones
like us.

After a while the beast gives out,
but there are plenty others if one knows where to look,
past the drained arm veins,
to the plump toes perhaps,
or calf muscles,
a neck with its bulging, green cords so delicious.
The needle will always find a way.
I tell her, “You are not who you think you are,” and she cackles,
shatters the mirror with a spoon.

Our girls want to know about the ruckus.
They are clever and crafty just like her,
as stubborn as steel.
When Abby asks, “Who’s that ragdoll lady in there?”
I get a gun and do what I should have done so long ago.

On the first day,
her taunts and slurs are mere toothpick spears.
It’s the shrill screams that boil my skin.
I worry they’ll melt the locks,
my will.

On the second day,
my wife bangs her head against the door, a dozen booming canon bursts
that send her unconscious.

On the third,
she convulses; a saggy, skin-and-bone puppet
shedding streams of sour sweat.
She pees herself and slaps at the puddles and pool.

Fourth day,
she spends groaning, lolling on the cold, tiled floor,
whiter than the clinic’s wide walls.
“Pony,” she moans.  “Give me back my pony.”

On the last day,
the day of release,
I show her a photograph, and when she asks what it is,
I say, “That’s your dead horse.  We killed it, together.”

She cocks her head for one last look.
She bucks against me even as she clings.
Her tears smell clean
while her words
ring sheer but true in my ear.
“This time,” she says, sucking down menthol,
breathing in prayers,
“this time I mean it.”

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