From far off, your life hums
like two girls whispering in a field. The sky suddenly
falls in love with you. Its cheeks a fawning rouge, eyes unclouded,
light violent in its gleaming.
Below the fading hue, a farm looms like a red wing
from the road. Who is this man outside, brushing
a horse’s mane? He smiles, invites you to climb on the saddle.
Trying to ignore the goblin on your chest, you accept.
But the horse, a fickle thing, rears up at your touch, hooves cutting
through air, loosing some mad alchemy in the farmer’s eye.
He dangles on his feet a moment, the seconds nearly visible,
before tearing toward the barn.
There’s a shed for you to hide in. You hear the axe
hewing the animal’s flank, her dock, the crest
of her shoulder. Through the window, you watch her skin
curl into grass like vellum, blooming wounds.
You wrap your arms around your slow, bipedal legs,
a set of limbs devouring another.
What were you hoping to find out here?
You corner yourself, thinking, Let this not be a hunt for me.
Erin L. Miller
Erin L. Miller earned her MFA at Bowling Green State University. Her poetry and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Sugar House Review, Linebreak, Mid-American Review, Prick of the Spindle, and others. She was awarded a Devine Fellowship and was a finalist for The Tusculum Review Poetry Prize as well as the Rita Dove Poetry Award. She lives in Ohio.
Artwork: Erin Kelso, “Gypsy and Horse”