Mustang

December 14, 2011
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Seventeen, we rode bareback,
Chasing the day full gallop till our lungs ran out.
Nights we’d lay out with the boys
Sip tequila and juice from a brown paper bag
And name the constellations.

Dad’s ’88 was the meanest stang you’d ever ride.
85 mph in a hot steel saddle you cooked
Asphalt to vintage radio, beat time
Twelve times over screaming
Speed like fire, fast, faster still--

The crash cut us all up. I couldn’t look at you
As you lay in the church you’d sworn never to attend,
Hair combed and skin scrubbed to plastic. The first shadows of manhood
Were shaved from your jaw, and I wondered if the coroner
Had a son.

I still run the horses sometimes.
Evenings I watch your filly from my window
And hold my breath as she races
Past the sun-smeared hills
Where we carved our names in clay.





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