I shoot horses. Or, I have.
I have shot horses. I have stood on a hill
and written you a long and involved letter
regarding my feelings. I have been drunk
and I have been otherwise
and not once have I pondered what life would be like
without either you or the shooting of horses.
If you were wondering about my accomplishments
I would say I have shot horses in the head and on horseback
and I have ridden into sunsets that look nothing at all like sunsets
and when I close my eyes I can see your face encircled in flames.
It is entirely possible
that I greatly misunderstand the concept of remorse.
Once I shot a horse in the stomach
and out of the hole in its stomach came a great feathered bird
that I should have eaten but I didn’t shoot it fast enough
so it flew off and that opportunity was lost to me forever.
After that I went out for barbecue
and it was alright but nothing to write home about.
Some days I miss you so much
that it feels like I am going to die but then I don’t
and I have no idea what to do about that
so I go out and shoot a horse in the face
and eat mediocre barbecue. I have spent whole days
picturing you standing in a field of amber wheat
near an infinitely mountainous mountain,
wearing your sundress and smiling.
In the evenings I take my supper and sweep up
as needed. In the middle of the night
all the houseboats drowned.
It was beautiful and sad and tragic
and you would have loved it, I swear. In the morning
I stand in front of a mirror
and give myself a fine and glorious beard
and compose my eyes in the manner of a man
who has seen some things. What I have seen is this:
I have seen you undress from your sundress
and lay yourself down to sleep
and I have cracked open a beer and bowed down
in awe to what is placed before me
and I am doing so right now. The moon
is hanging so low I could piss on it.
I walk myself out to the yard and I shoot some horses. After that
I shoot some more and they just keep piling up
until I have a mountain of shot-up horses there in front of me
just bleeding and crying for miles on end
like a flood or the slow progress of time
or a river of blood from a mountain of shot-up horses.
Sasha Fletcher is the author of the novella WHEN ALL OUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED MARCHING BANDS WILL FILL THE STREETS AND WE WILL NOT HEAR THEM BECAUSE WE WILL BE UPSTAIRS IN THE CLOUDS [mud luscious 2010] and two chapbooks of poetry.