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)