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Let me try to explain.

Self Portrait with Pen

Let me try to explain. Horses struggling knee deep in mud, then up-beat, simple music, like a distant ice-cream truck. The sound of something hard and metal hitting something soft and wood, like a plow ramming a fence, or a Datsun hitting a forest of popsicle sticks.

A gesture towards the horizon at dusk, a rubber wristband stamped “harmful”. You will grow up constantly touching yourself because no one else will, you will grab and release women in the dark before they have a chance to yell.

The trickle of a stream turning green and muddy. The whine of a doe as her leg is torn off. The wet snap of a blinking, infected, cat eye.

The room turns over. He’s snow white, I’m the gloves he takes off to pick up the apple. Opening another book, I take out the babies, one by one, pretending they are mine.

Sun filtering down over the wheat, pine shadows marring the gold with gray streaks. A donkey runs through the field – so hard that the grass bends in large swaths, but she doesn’t move fast, as if her feet keep sticking or are heavy.

Poking my mother in the face with a stick, drawing the same smile over and over. Pillbugs in the tea tins. Riding my bay horse backwards into the past. Someone else, always, was in charge of the fires.