Jackleen Holton Dark Horse

Dark Horse

Instead of falling from the sky tonight,

frogs are singing in the canyon. But the sunset

looks different from our balcony, the colors

almost otherworldly, and the road

is strangely quiet. On nights like this, the TV

turned off after the news of this week’s shooting,

wildfires and flooding, more bees dying,

and a child’s red shoe in the rubble

of this morning’s suicide attack,

it’s easier to think of this world as already over,

every day a rental, though we tell ourselves

the mortgage—its Latin roots mean death grip—

will one day be paid off. We’re drinking

my favorite cheap wine, the Dark Horse zinfandel

I bought at Costco last week, but it won’t wash away

that picture, a single red sneaker, the same size as the ones

I picked up off the living room floor tonight—

or the ones on the child with the bomb strapped to his chest.

Maybe it’s sooner than we think; Costco’s shelves

empty, no red zin, no balcony, no mortgage, the rim

of the canyon dark as the gorge where the frogs congregate,

their song the world’s song, waiting for rain.


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