Dead Horse Watch
‘Orbis Spike’ in 1610 marks humanity’s first major impact on planet Earth
My mind is a basket of water
descending at daylight into melon-smacked sky.
Rose, gray, tangerine of morning
from dark space blue.
A meteor flashed by
or was it Morning Star?
Her face lighting world
signaling night to day
day to light.
Snow drift clouds lake, then
split cleans earth/sky/city space.
Blush between gray,
glimmer of sun, flanked,
Sun dogs heel.
Searching sky lung-like, open,
cupped leaves turn up to receive water.
Simple receptacles palm dreams
landing in drops larger than weeping.
Sweeping evaporation come home
til it rains fish and dogs.
Here it is
higher than old growth piney tops
higher than marbled plates topping bluff
grass like water, too, filled with rain,
dropping into pinprick gleam
big sieve of night. Us, we
land in some universal nebula,
something spread out shining, waiting,
deep river of the dead,
the rookery out back
Vultures saddle cat-killed deer, haunches split.
Crickets, tarantula, wolf spiders, recluses,
fire ants, mice, rats, bottle flies, mites –
all of them feed, all over.
When bats, moths, move
through marmalade, plum
fall, night, evening grows wide.
Mycosis of frogs, chytrid,
white nose fungus,
Zika, or not, Dengue.
Wool hangs over day diminished,
with only yellow glimpse
above the pasture pooled in flood.
Mustangs, half-medicine hat,
frost buckskin, still sip and chew below.
We are deprived seeing into the world.
Reflecting ourselves when nothing.
The politics of global non-recognition.
In mist, is human/dead horse,
beat over and over each era.
Cold, a scrim of rain.
All along the dead horse watch.
ContributorAllison Adelle Hedge Coke
ALLISON ADELLE HEDGE COKE’s books include Streaming, Blood Run, Off-Season City Pipe, Dog Road Woman, Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas, Effigies, Effigies II, and Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer. Awards include an American Book Award, Native Writers Circle of the Americas, a 2015 Pen Southwest Book Award, and a 2016 Library of Congress Witter Bynner Fellowship. She teaches for VCFA MFA in Writing & Publishing, Red Earth MFA, and as Visiting Writer for SWP Naropa.