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Grace
body
poppyromanov
I thought I’d been leading a life
of mild grace,
but as we walked
it passed me
by and began to strain
at the bristling ropes
and got out well
ahead of me, half dragging
my thickened
heel-heavy gait
across the muddy fields.

All that open space
seemed to call out to its hooves
like the taut skin
on a quiet drum.

I wrapped the cord
around both hands,
and watched the rough hemp
begin to saw
a glistening rawness
into its shoulders.

My hands, too,
were cut and weeping.

Steam smoked from its
body like a coal
and then I heard
it, the gun-
shot crack of something
splintering,
so I let
my life

go—