These Horses Will Not Be Harnessed


They just brought lightning down
on the ignorant heads of teasel and thorn. They flew
out of a country you helped to make, then beat
the brainpan’s old assumptions dead. The whip is history
they remember, the fence, the kick, the rope. They dreamed
the end of anger together—such ripples and touch, such brush
and elegant angle of pastern, of ear. They are beautiful. They know this.
They speak in an ever-longer pattern that they themselves invented, born of torque
and tongue.
                    Yes, you may be threatened. Yes,
you may wake up suddenly surrounded by horses.
Some may leap over you. Some
may breathe on you hard. Some may turn
and show you the whirling universe of an eye.
I can’t tell you what will happen next.
I can’t tell you what to do.

Franz Marc,  Träumendes Pferd  ( Dreaming Horse),  1913

Franz Marc, Träumendes Pferd (Dreaming Horse), 1913


Amy Miller

Amy Miller’s full-length poetry collection The Trouble with New England Girls won the Louis Award and will be published by Concrete Wolf Press in summer 2018. Her writing has appeared in Gulf CoastRattleWillow Springs, and ZYZZYVA, and her most recent chapbook is I Am on a River and Cannot Answer (BOAAT Press). She lives in Oregon. Find her at writers-island.blogspot.com and @amymillerpoet.