I’ve been dreaming of the horses of Kashmir,
in full sprint, braying in the abandoned streets. A charcoal
and rust colored colony of wayward girls.
They came to take back their mountain mouths, take the city
in motion. The Zaniskari, photographed grazing
in front of a stadium in Srinagar like Sunday strollers in the park.
I can’t shake them; they whinny over storms at my window.
Think of the muscle and sinew of something wild,
while I curl into the divot of my couch and open a paperback,
and my neighbour takes up bootlegging in the recycling bin.
This scorched earth has left mountain goats in the walkway,
elk in the front yard and jackals in the parks of Tel Aviv.
In Montreal, wild turkeys roost on spiral staircases.
We retreat and they come to pasture in the roundabouts,
the empty canals and crosswalks. We serve grief and lethargy
to a city and the pigeons don’t even sing.
Like benthos we slink beneath a carapace,
find solitude as deep as the bottom of the sea.
I’d rather be a horse named for a copper valley,
roaming ghost towns between long busy rivers.
They come to these empty streets
to tell me of every quiet thing I could live through.
That I am feral and restless, and I’ll be free again soon,
to run the trails and sprint to catch the subway.
To lay with the peacocks in the grass. The horses tell me
of the untamed filly of my nature.
That we share both the concrete and the canyon,
the overgrown gardens, the studio apartment
and the wide unswept fields in bloom.