Women and Horses-Rana Kelly

trembling skin.

come on to me,

slow slow slow,

and know.

wild-eyed and rolling, ready to bolt.

shattered, heaving sides.

shiver, shiver, shake

down your spine.

frozen, still ready to shake loose and hurt me

just in case.

because you know.

run my hand down quaking flanks,

speckled sweat, kiss your face, stroke your lips

storms and lightning in your eyes.

you know the sting and slash of whip-

boot heel, knee, fist.

whatever he had round at the time.

i feel it too, i felt it too.

sweet sweet girl.

with deep and shuttered eyes.

it’s the tight line of your spine when i reach for you,

and you lean and slide, reel and wheel, away.

gather up your strength little girl.

gather up your wind, show it to me.

silent now, lower your face to me.

lower your face to me.

breathe deep, don’t let him see you frighten,

don’t let him see your fear.

low low low, i blow on your skin,

touch the velvet under your eyes.

rim my finger on the seam of your ear.

shh shh shh. it’s all right.

lower your face to me.

ease down your eyes,

drift them down slowly.

lean to me, give me some weight.

i know the look of you-

coiled and strung

like hanging meat.

hooks and things-

until you break

until you break.

i know you.

what i was.

who knows us.

who knows what men can do

but women and horses.

[Rana Kelly was born and raised in the Deep South, and now resides in the Southwest.  Her poetry, personal essays, short fiction, and photography has been published in anthologies and literary magazines far and wide over the years, from Caesura to featherproof press, FM to Ceremony Collected. Her first novel, Until Her Darkness Goes, was published in 2015. She’s currently writing her second novel under a pseudonym.]

Author: Sudden Denouement

A Literary Collective

16 thoughts on “Women and Horses-Rana Kelly”

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