ALL THOUGHTS AND HORSES
At a poetry reading you ask me,
Do you think horses like being pregnant?
This comes out of nowhere—
though, granted, we were speaking about
your horse-fucking great-uncle Jeremy—
so it, like all thoughts and horses, comes
from some sort of somewhere.
I say no, I don’t think any animal
likes to be pregnant more than they like
to be un-pregnant.
But what about the miracle of birth?
you ask, unnecessarily urgent and loud.
We are starting to be disruptive now.
The poet takes their place at the podium.
The microphone sags like a scrotum.
We quiet down, become silent as fluid.
The poet reads slow, each word a lover.
I had a rocking horse growing up, I tell you
as we wait for the poet to sign our books,
I used it to masturbate.
The poet asks if we are writers.
You answer. I don’t.
You tell me not to flirt with the poet.
I flirt with the poet.
You show your wedding ring to the cashier.
We know him. He has probably seen me naked.
We return to your apartment
by way of the liquor store and you tell me
what your sister said about horse brains:
Their brains are split, she said, so if they pass
a pear tree on the right every day, when, one day,
they pass it on the left, they don’t recognize it.
You say you are thinking about having children
and there is a basket of mushy fruit on your
kitchen counter. The flies are coming.
Can they tell the difference between fruit and death?
It happens when you get married, you continue.
I wonder if I am standing on your left or right.
I ask are you writing and you say no like it’s a promise
and you look to your husband who is on the couch
watching football. You smile like he cares, like he is not
swaddled in blankets and hogging the cat.
I drive home under traffic lights turning yellow above me.
They are overripe pears.
The flies are circling and the lights will be gone soon.
The trees are rotting around me.
The horses hate being pregnant.
I am on the highway alone, asking, who feels miracles?
I REMEMBER DRIVING
and identifying horse breeds.
There is a power in deciding what they are
before anyone else can disagree
because they are too far past.
Originally from Atlanta, GA, Miriam Moore-Keish (she/her) received her B.A. in English literature from Macalester College and her MPhil in Children’s Literature from the University of Cambridge. Her poems have appeared in The Underground Journal, Poets.org, The Hoxie Gorge Review, Poetry South, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, and places like that. She is the author of one full-length collection of poetry and two recent chapbooks, Cherokee Rose (Finishing Line Press, 2021) and Clearance Philosophy (Bottlecap Press, 2022). Miriam is a publisher and writer in Minneapolis, MN where they don’t (but she does) sweeten their tea. Say hi at miriammoore-keish.com!