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Amy's Horse

Mimi Khalvati

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)