Table of Contents
Poetry by Jean Monahan
Horse: A Love Story
for Tom Consi
In all seahorse
and pipefish species thus far found to be monogamous, male and female
partners perform an early morning greeting, during which they change
colour and dance together for about 6 min.; greetings reinforce
the pair bond. Amanda Vincent, Animal Behaviour, 1995.
Tell me how
it is to run with no legs,
to gallop long in the turquoise light
after some blinding, unobtainable point,
moon and stars
your phantom riders.
There's a field where the wild run
until they break under the halter
I find you tethered
to blue-green ribbons of weed
in a glassy garden of dancing shrimp.
The neck of
the stallion bows
to the yoke of loyalty or devotion.
The spine is for courage, cinching
to one blade
only, though the tide
tips you until you touch your snout
to the sand, and then back,
until you rear
in the tumble
and salt, charging the surf.
Somewhere, out of sight, the clef
body of your
mate lives out a life
of soulful diligence. Once a day
she comes to where you cling
and you twine:
two S's, two bamboo-
colored strokes. Love is the cage of bone
worn on the outside, the small, critical
like enchanted stones
behind the scrim. Love is the spiny
bride, wherever you find him.
In the life
before water, we were rock.
Molten. Singed. The heat was in our mouths:
it took our words away.
Now we swim
in the lake of vowels. I and you.
Water is about
drift and change.
The trick is to embrace what absorbs
and dissolves you, let each stroke pull
When you step on a fish, you take on its power.
The edge of the lake is where we end.
In the life
with a louder voice,
the sky is white with dying stars.
Only those with water in their ears
can hear them
earns a living as a Senior Creative Director at AGENCY.COM: Boston.
She received the 1991 Anhinga Prize for her first book, Hands, and
her second book, Believe It or Not, was published by Orchises Press
in 1999 (both available on amazon.com).