“The Mare of Money” by Roger Reeves

“The Mare of Money”
Roger Reeves

         —for Emmett Till

Another dead mare waits
in the shoals of some body
of water, waits to be burden,
borne into a foaming ocean,
where it might become food
for whales, or, simply empty
signifier—hair latched
to the sea’s undulation
like Absalom’s beauty caught
in the branches of a tree desiring union
entanglement, thick confusion—
but not this mare;
she does not get the luxury
of a lyric—a song that makes
our own undoing or killing sweet
even as we go down
into the fire to rise as smoke.
This horse lies, eyes open,
among the stones and fresh water
crawfish in Money, Mississippi.
She listens to the men’s boots break
the water when they drop a black boy’s body
near her head, then pick him up,
only to let him fall—again,
there: bent and eye-to-eye with her
as though decaying is something
that requires a witness
—as though the mare might say:
on Tuesday after the rain fell,
the boy’s neck finally snapped
from the weight of the mill fan;
he never looked at me again
Or the boy might say:
No more. They part
here: the boy’s body
carried back to town by another,
as the horse stays, says nothing
because horses don’t speak, besides
this one’s dead.
[Link to Reeves’ discussing his poem at Brooklyn Poets.]

~ by samofthetenthousandthings on June 29, 2020.

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