When we talk about horses, we talk/ about things too beautiful to forget/ & too slippery to remember.
West Africa, 1973 When we talk about horses, we talk about things too beautiful to forget & too slippery to remember. How is it that a man’s body is a shrine & not a farmland? In the legend of the first flood, every horse was a sick bird inside a dead tree. No one knew Night was capable of beauty in the year of the snake. They say I must not eat eggs. I must drink only from the mouth of snails. Behold, girls my age cannot even tell the innocence of water. They set the ocean on fire & let its smoke consume my baobab tree. Ask what boy was not already fatherless when the body calls the finger in its throat a knife & I will ask what mothers tell their daughters what fathers must not tell their sons? Here, we talk about horses as if they were only slippery not beautiful. We remember the sick bird but forget the dead tree inside where feathers become wings. Is a cloud still not a prediction of vanishment? In the year of my sprouting hips, they say I must burn every truth that will not take root. I must talk about Night as if it were capable of beauty.