Not Horses

What I adore is not horses, with their modern

domestic life span of 25 years. What I adore

is a bug that lives only one day, especially if

it’s a terrible day, a day of train derailment or

chemical lake or cop admits to cover-up, a day

when no one thinks of anything else, least of all

that bug. I know how it feels, born as I’ve been

into these rotting times, as into sin. Everybody’s

busy, so distraught they forget to kill me,

and even that won’t keep me alive. I share

my home not with horses but with a little dog

who sees poorly at dusk and menaces stumps,

makes her muscle known to every statue.

I wish she could have a single day of language,

so that I might reassure her don’t be afraid 

our whole world is dead and so can do you no harm.

Natalie Shapero, “Not Horses” from Hard child. Copyright © 2017 by Natalie Shapero. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Source: Hard child (Copper Canyon Press, 2017)