& I know what it means when you write of horses,
know that what we wish for, we are most afraid of—
but still, resting amongst those spaded hooves—the urge
to sing of busy fantasies, of your inherited desire for death,
to admire the burrowed lancelet, its body boneless
& free to wrap only around itself. Instead, you remember
the grand space of unknowing, the man loping whiskey-
breathed from the stable, & the child left to rot in the sun.
It means you can still feel the heavy thrum of thigh
on saddle, can smell the man’s blood-hunger, the heel
of his palm forcing you toward the mane—but instead,
you say the guestbook of my body is signed by strangers,
speak of carrying a comet in the throat, of sleeping longer
in summer than winter. And as I draw you to my chest,
you say the horse’s heart weighs nine pounds, that no two
are identical, & I listen intently, hear the desperate myth
in your naming of the roan—he, whom you know
only as sweet messenger of rebirth.
Karissa Morton hails from Des Moines, Iowa and holds an MFA from Bowling Green State University where she is currently a creative writing instructor. She is co-founding editor of Revolution House Magazine, and her poems and essays can be found widely, including recently in The Indiana Review, The Paris-American, ILK, and The Rumpus. She has a penchant for Catholic iconography, a love of NCAA sports, and an unhealthy obsession with Pretty Little Liars.