“Of all the sights a horse-rending plant offers to the world, a horse is not one"
there on the lip,
of the cthonian ocean of long bones
how could I have known what a horse was
before it ever rode forth in chopped waves,
it stepped it charged
—before it ever foaled in a barn—
placental wetness with the mud of its birth
marred a mare
a body endures so much
and rots like a neigh in a field
the earth will have us each
wave gallops flankwide inland,
a shadow horse of Belowland
attributing its bones to the coast.
I try to see the past in you,
Stoneportal, broken coffin bone, admit me
before you were snapbacked and scalded bald
Were you the tumorous steed of a freak?
The foaming mouth of a draft horse?
Are you the legs of a veteran?
Are you a war hero? Is a wave a herd?
What brief identity the flesh provides,
what scant shelter is a hide!
when the world flips over and uncovers us
Joe Fritsch studied poetry at Brooklyn College. Currently, he is the Program Assistant at Poets House, in NYC. His work has appeared online at Indigestmag.com, and in publications by Uphook Press. He lives in Brooklyn.