I Break the Ghost in Me Like a Wild Horse
Cautious, cautious fearing an outburst of hooves
I approach with sugar a crust of bread, enough
to subdue her desire to attack
I stroke her grimy mane she is unkempt, all field-musk
and quarrel but soon her stance relaxes
many false starts until she allows me to lead her
we walk for miles past rotting tree trunks
past small cemeteries then return home
that night she dreams I scan the loaded shelves
books upon books all addressing the same questions
Why am I here? How can I be happy?
the next morning I sit astride her saddled back
braid her mane with roses I whisper the rumors she spread
back into her ears as we near the cliffs
she spooks her natural instinct swinging into overdrive
she wants to buck me into the canyon
but I know her secrets now She responds to the reins
she takes the apple I proffer no longer bites the hand
I Am Reminded Why I Love You in the Dark of Easter Island
In Hanga Roa, the sun doesn’t rise until after nine, night sleeping in silent fields.
I had almost forgotten how I used to lie awake in the blue-black attic, trying
to see my hands, praying for rain to drown out the tiger prowling my insides.
The stars are within my reach, and I show you the burns where I have touched them.
(The dark in Hanga Roa inks each twinkle into relief.) I lied when I said the stars are
within reach. I wanted to have grasped something holy, to have a reason for the scars.
In Hanga Roa, mammoth stone heads face the horizon each way I turn,
their bodies buried beneath the earth. There is always something hidden.
Them and me. My conscience always wearing the wrong shoes for the weather.
It is true that the ancients carved those heads by hand, teetered them across
the landscape from quarry to village, by sun and by starlight, blessing them by
setting in the eyes only when they reached their permanent homes.
I should thank you for blessing my star-strafed body.
I should thank you for giving me back my eyes.
My Work is My Body, My Body is My Work
Helena Almeida, Portuguese Painter/Photographer
my body a monolith a black cave carved by flesh
never a face never a whole
inside me a window a stepladder a stack
of straw hats mirrors on the soles
of my feet
bending to pick up a handkerchief hiking
up one side of a black dress perched
on one stiletto
then feet bared calves and ankles cracked
nails wrapped in black wire some loose
my body a snail a black knot a hermit
crab one hand, two hands
my body in flight on a table hair but no
face never a face bare feet cupped as
my body reflected on a wet floor that I name
tears wavering almost completely
Donna Vorreyer is the author of Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (Sundress Publications, 2016) and A House of Many Windows (Sundress, 2013) as well as eight chapbooks, most recently The Girl (Porkbelly Press).