Vievee Francis

Horse in the Dark

Brown as a mule, I stomped
through the flocking geese
who thought themselves swans –
but a mule knows its opposite
and so did I. They were no swans.
A horse can be broken by such
beauty. A horse may follow it
down a slope that slices of its hooves.
Beauty, like a restless man in a tall hat,
a wandering boy with teeth white
as if he had never known meat,
or the score of water over stones.
I leapt up for the rain-cloud
shaped like a darker horse,
jumped a too-tall fence believing
a horse could be loved more
and ridden less. Until we fell
apart, the horse I was and I.
We who had prayed for a heaven
of toothless-grass and barley –
how did we untwine? When
did my long face pull itself back
into this flat form? When
did words replace neigh?
Two legs took my trot.
And I, freed of my horse-self
who lay dead to the greening world,
ran through the clover. On two legs
ran and ran –


Vievee Francis