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 –