Dust of a Dessicated Horse

by Bill Rasmowicz

When the bullet crashed from its celebratory shot
skyward, we found it in the morning
flattened on the concrete like a penny
squashed on the destitute tracks of the only route

out of here. Reading yourself to sleep hereafter
is impossible. Better to cloister yourself away
like a pigeon in the stockyard’s corrugated eaves

where loneliness wrings its hue from the
parking lot’s lights until there isn’t even a shadow
to consult. Meaning the club-shaped hollow entity
wind tries to flog into song IS YOU.

Seeing the anonymous heart shelved in its mustardy
preservative, I thought it glimmered with the
singularity of a snowfield, a geography erased.
The quiet there—as though you could auscultate

the slow pulse of an oak
with your palm, hear the grasses moan when
a mushroom is plucked from the earth. How do we
account for the backdrop of factorylight

featuring the opportunistic overgrowth as enchanted
wood? And why shouldn’t we
build a bonfire in the basement with flags for
surrender and plastic shrieks of optimism?

I wonder how it feels to be buried so long amidst
the pines, where the calves press
their casual heft earthward, returning a gesture.

It’s sad. The present is rarely panoramic. When it is
you’re too preoccupied with
the slaughterhouse of your past to notice.
To think you’re horse dust, that

another broken nose is a only a function
of the clarity of the sliding glass doors. Which too,
are invisible to the birds

conferring in ellipses over the tenements, fluid
and dream-like, a testament
to the vaporous amniotic state between satisfaction
and longing, wherever it resides.

The forest, no doubt. Where you go, dragged
by the scruff of the neck, while
gypsy moths stitch the limbs of the trees together

and the dew-mist settles like smoke
from the demolition tinged air of the entire
freaking erstwhile century.


Migrations Wrested

Over Conversation



Bill Rasmowicz Bill Rasmovicz is the author of The World in Place of Itself (Alice James Books, 2007), which won the New England Poetry Club’s Shelia Margaret Motton Prize. His poems have appeared in Hotel Amerika, Nimrod, Mid-American Review, Third Coast, Gulf Coast, and other publications. Bill has served as a workshop co-leader and literary excursion leader throughout Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Germany, England, and Wales. A graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing program and Temple University School of Pharmacy, he lives in Brooklyn, NY.