After a Photo of a Dead Horse by Vivian Maier
it could be tired. really, it could be
sleeping there between shifts
stomping through the streets.
it could be taking a noonday nap,
resting its glassine gaze.
i’m trying to be hopeful.
it could be playing dead. pretending
like circus horses.
i used a simile for several reasons
but mostly to draw attention
to the difference
between pretend dead horses
with white crowns
in a tent, and this
actually dead horse,
black against a quiet background
in a city street. sometimes you can’t believe what you see.
sometimes you don’t believe what you see.
there is a difference.
last night gregory peck did not die when he touched the ark of the covenant
two golden eagles embracing the space
graced between them.
i’m not religious, but i understand religion
because i understand metaphor, or
i understand how
we use metaphor to say
what cannot be said.
how a dead horse is never
just a dead horse
is never just.
Jason Bradford is an MFA candidate in Poetry at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Poems have appeared, or are forthcoming in jubilat, Fruita Pulp, Jellyfish Magazine, Rogue Agent, and the North American Review. The Inhabitants, a chapbook of poems, was published by Final Thursday Press.