Six horses died in a tractor-trailer fire.
There. That’s the hard part. I wanted
to tell you straight away so we could
grieve together. So many sad things,
that’s just one on a long recent list
that loops and elongates in the chest,
in the diaphragm, in the alveoli. What
is it they say, heart-sick or downhearted?
I picture a heart lying down on the floor
of the torso, pulling up the blankets
over its head, thinking this pain will
go on forever (even though it won’t).
The heart is watching Lifetime movies
and wishing, and missing all the good
parts of her that she has forgotten.
The heart is so tired of beating
herself up, she wants to stop it still,
but also she wants the blood to return,
wants to bring in the thrill and wind of the ride,
the fast pull of life driving underneath her.
What the heart wants? The heart wants
her horses back.
Ada Limón is the author of three books of poetry: lucky wreck, This Big Fake World: A Story in Verse, and Sharks in the Rivers. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines, including The New Yorker, Harvard Review, and Poetry Daily. She is currently at work on a novel, a book of essays, and a new collection of poems.
Homepage photograph via Flickr by Joost J. Bakker IJmuiden