Amy's horse looked doleful. More pony
than horse, he looked lugubriously
out of his fingerprint eyes at me
from the huge front pane of night.
Outside it was snowing, inside,
orange then green then golden light
flashed through Amy's horse as if
electricity could grant him life.
He had two tails: one short and stiff,
one, superimposed by Amy's friend,
cursive and corrective. Diamonds
glittered in his outline, rainbeads
mapped him like a constellation.
He was a Christmas decoration,
the donkey of our childhoods risen
like a saint on a stained-glass pane.
His eyes were mean and close-set, his mane
a stumpy fringe, his face as lean
as any Christ's but what with the cold,
the crowded bus, the sudden gold
that flooded him, he seemed to hold
not only our eyes but all our anguish,
the terrible burdens of our flesh
and blood, for he had none, no flesh,
no body, nothing but an outline
a finger traced on glass, a sign
for the very naught we can't imagine.
And when Amy's friend erased
what body he had, it recomposed
that naught, whitening under the glaze.
From Staple Issue 66/67 (Spring/Summer 2007)