Sara Johnson

View From the Fence, on Which I Sit and Dangle My Legs


O the horses are silver. The horses are metal hearts.
The horses are the night’s blood congealed.
O the moonlit horses, the frost-spun
horses, clicking their bone-teeth
against the dead grass. The horses
with their stomachs full of dust, how the flies
pick at their eyes, in love. O the horse
lives in my eye without drowning.
Its bones click and click like the train.
Horse with a broken leg,
with a bullet in your head, I saw you
in the stream last night. I saw you eating
the bone-star fallen to the grass.
You smelled of rifle-fire and voices.
I would make a violin, sing back to you
but all the wood here has burned.
O the world is burning, a funeral
after which nothing is buried, after which is a hole
filled with cries. We are all wronged.
O horse with the lash marks, with your one-eye
filled with mine, how you search my palm for grain.
You shake the dust from your muscles
and it smells of spring. I’ve seen you shake
the dust a thousand times. The dust looks
like a ghost shattering. Then rain sprinkled across skin,
dripping from clavicle to knee. O beauty, tickling
the body to laughter. I will follow you down.