I know the name of the first horse I own
is prophecy for the way I will die.
Are you that horse—
all the keys on a piano
played at once,
half child-half eaten
apple? Your teeth mark my future:
the rush imbedded swan,
rising, striking, rising,
face down in the water.
Now I feed you from my own palm,
a demonstration of faith.
When I say love
I mean I can’t
not like this
where he can’t control
where we are frantic
on the confused minute hands of time.
I mean my hands shake all day.
God is not a sensible watchmaker.
I can’t say what to the day’s stutter,
ask it if we are still friends.
It unnails my body,
the doorframe for him to cross
throwing elbows, love as resistance
but not always
to fuck on the lid of a closed piano.
They’ll never show sex
in silent movies.
I spread salt
in perfect line across a threshold—
he who means me harm
it’s like how he promises to leave.
Instead, he never leaves.
Jill Mceldowney is the author of the chapbooks Kisses Over Babylon (dancing girl press 2016) and Paradise Woods (forthcoming. She is a cofounder and editor of Madhouse Press. Her previously published work can be found in journals such as Vinyl, the Sonora Review, Fugue, Whiskey Island and other notable publications.