373: Tracing the Horse

373: Tracing the Horse

373: Tracing the Horse

Tracing the Horse
by Diana Marie Delgado

I’m riding a horse I can’t stop drawing,
a wild one with a whip for a tail.

It’s a song in a dream
whose words burn
my hands like light.

          …

The moon’s gone down again.

If you play cards at night,
the Devil pulls up a chair, plays with you.

I believe my Mother—I’m ten.

          …

She told me study the moon.

Take a picture and tell the world
what it means, only I wasn’t sure

what the moon would say,
especially to me; I couldn’t

look out the window.

          …

We drove to Ensenada,
sailed to an island of squid

that, once hooked,
stained the Pacific.

Over that ocean a dark
so dark it was blue.

          …

Maybe Mom’s the horse
because aren’t horses beautiful,
can’t they kill a man if spooked?

          …

Mr. Wyrick reads from
the Bible, ties Joseph
to his desk like the pigs
I’ve seen slaughtered
for holy communion.

          …

The Devil grabs my feet
to cover them in pollen.

I should stop talking to him.

He turned me into a crow,
put music in me, told me why our plum tree
was called Purple Heart.

          …

Mom brushes my hair
asks me to tell time;
when I get it wrong,
she slaps me.

          …

On the ocean, gulls made space
for sunlight as we followed him

into the garage to gut
barracuda, shoo flies.

          …

I take a book home, read and return it;
a star is put next to my name.

I never read the whole book, just parts,
words in a row, I read for feelings.

"Tracing the Horse," by Diana Marie Delgado, from TRACING THE HORSE by Diana Marie Delgado, copyright © 2019 BOA Editions. Used by permission of BOA Editions.