PETS

through bars of light and shadow
we watch our masters’ faces flicker
through wheels that follow the rails
we have dedicated our lives
to the life you want us to live
learnt to follow commands
leashes, crawl on our bellies
you gain strength from our love
we are the brunt of your jokes
objects of your hatred
you beat us and we whimper
you murder us and we just go away
you abandon us and we starve faithfully
our hunger ringed eyes beg
you to feed us, and you do
because we are so goddamn grateful
our love so intimate
with the food you give us
we eat at your feet
devour your scraps
cast about in your shadow
afraid to leave the house when you are gone
small spirits to emphasize how big you are
we plot the map of your achievement
the boundaries of your life
in our perfect spare time

THE HORSE IS BROKEN

the horse had to cross three lines
it was past two when the semi hit
and it exploded

a head hurtling through the trees, tear
drop eyes glisten on leaves turned blood red;
the sun sets; the horse casts a shadow
long as a mountain; the forest is a panorama
running, running, running
shadows flicker along canyon walls; a
primitive sensation: my heart gallops

to run is to think, to think is to run,
fences are mind control, property is theft.
Modern Cowboys Round Up Wild Horses Driving a Jeep;
the horses are ground up and sold as fast food

a horse in the bedroom
a horse in the back room
a horse in the dark room
a horse in every room
there’s a horse in the kitchen
wearing an apron that says,
“Come and Get It!”

a disembodied eye is shackled to the floor
an iron chain a snake slipping through straw

above the factory—steam
brilliant white in frozen air
eddies and swirls, tracing the path of zephyrs
running, running, running.

Their manes flare tendrils of cloud
that cannot be brought down,
not by the greatest cowboy
ever known.

This flag of freedom.

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