April 15, 2019 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

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Alejandro Escudé




The Dead and the Living Horses



It was the fragmented ghost of Ernest Hemingway

that emerged to drag the dead horses away

as the last of the protestors chanted, women screaming,

men swearing, the whole majesty

of the sky laid out bare, stands full of pinup girls

and Don Juans; the band pissing show tunes

and flowers arranged in bulbous vaginal patterns

enough to make Georgia O’Keeffe smile.

There were plenty of drunk and weary Spaniards,

rats scurrying around the track the shape

of full botas de vino—and someone mistook the protest

for a war and chanted, “No Pasarán!”

Oh I recall the plaza they turned into a shopping center

in Alcalá De Henares. That made me

feel old, an old poet remembering old poetic things.

I wish I could erect a path to heaven

out of horse bones then trample every protester until

they witnessed each bright horse put back together

among the fiery clouds. Maybe if they were born again

as stiff, rugged Mongolians, or scimitar soldiers?

Even that wouldn’t stop these daylight scavengers

from amassing where they do not belong.

I could steal their posters and pen verses explaining

the utopic nature of their requests,

the way the world would have to belong to the lions

for it to make sufficient sense to them.

Ask a lion tamer what it’s like to live under lions.

The racehorses die because the news say they do,

and heaven obeys the newscasters just as hell

obeys sports commentators and correspondents

beautiful as Aphrodite or Dido. Humanity shall not be

destroyed by the false armies of the intellect.

Its breath beyond the faction of fascists, that

university temple of hypocritical miscreants.

The horses are numbered for the crowd. The trumpet blows

Loud. The betting is there to remind us all

of death. Our dead horses run between the living ones.






Alejandro Escudé

Alejandro Escudé

Alejandro Escudé’s first book of poems, My Earthbound Eye, was published in September 2013. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from UC Davis and teaches English. Originally from Argentina, Alejandro lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

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