A pinup of Rita Hayworth was taped To the bomb that fell on Hiroshima. The Avant-garde makes me weep with boredom. Horses are wishes, especially dark ones. That's why twitches and fences. That's why switches and spurs. That's why the idiom of betrayal. They forgive us. Their windswayed manes and tails, Their eyes, Affront the winterscrubbed prairie With gentleness. They live in both worlds and forgive us. I'll give you a hint: the wind in fits and starts. Like schoolchildren when the teacher walks in, The aspens jostle for their places And fall still. A delirium of ridges breaks in a blue streak: A confusion of means Saved from annihilation By catastrophe. A horse gallops up to the gate and stops. The rider dismounts. Do I know him?
From Resurrection Update: Collected Poems 1975-1997, published by Copper Canyon Press, 1997. (Originally published in Elements, 1988.) Copyright © 1997 by James Galvin. All rights reserved. Used with permission.