• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 11
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An Attempt at Wilderness


He had a star on his forehead
but he wasn't black
before him, I wasn't young

A horse. A star. A child
A saddle on the back. Long boots. Short nights.

I had been infatuated with horses
sugar in palms, a soft neighing
a soft muzzle on the back of my hand

on your back, I sit
tighten the space to the saddle
clench with my hand your back, hurt your hair
you take my leg, kiss it, it bruises

An eye. A tale. A fear of how much we can hurt
those who stand, listen to orders, march

how many times did you have to carry on your back
strangers who carry rage instead of broken limbs?

Don't answer, I read the books
a colt with a star on its forehead
black as the night
beautiful because black is a mixture of all colors.


An Attempt at Wilderness


He told me to be wild, like a running horse
I told him a wild horse
doesn't stop to look at the fences

wild horses, leap over the edges
I stand at the fences look at the chipping paint
turn and walk back

He said I should dig deeper
dig more holes to plant more trees
but there are too many ants in earth
I am scared I will get my nails dirty

how did I move away from him? A stranger.
A child. Long boots. Short nights.

He said, go and come back
with a butterfly in your hair
but my hair was no longer soft, but tangled

he said come back
with long boots to cover for an upcoming winter
to fence you against the fears of a child

what fears I asked?

he touched my hand, gave me a key
I told him the door was never


An Attempt at Wilderness


Often men have mistreated their horses
I have mistreated mine too
with negligence

A lover. A horse. A child
A softness in the belly. Long boots. Short nights.

I don't fasten any knots around your knees
what have I done to deserve this curse?
do the victims ever know what befell them?
you are a lover in the eye of the night
gleaming green, yielding eyes like lustrous horses,

this is belonging then, the number of times
you pull me toward your chest when I want to break
away from your hands,
without a fateful resentment I fall

I am indebted to rage,
to the tattoo carved on my left ankle
it reminds me of things you once said
now stopped

you told me once that galloping mares scream wilderness
with their hair, not their hooves
leaving their locks to the sky, I keep my hair tied
in a ponytail, for fear it tangles
with the branches as I run

A girl. A stranger. A lover
A saddle on the back. Long boots. Short sleepless nights.