For Manic Girls With No One Holding Them

by Emily O’Neill

Tonight in the shred of rest
               I coax down my throat
I dream a dappled horse eating from my outstretched palm
                         & the beast looks like a caught rain
                                        cloud you could sink into like the sea & sleep stays
                                                                 20 minutes tops before

                                                                                        my body wakes
                                                  me against reason because there’s furniture to move
                                   & clothing to discard & 3 weeks of dinner to cook, then freeze
                    & the rioja wasn’t gone when I left the kitchen, so I find it
                                                  & drink & the time wasn’t long from light again
                                        so why waste another empty hour thrashing
                                                  in my deeply empty bed

                                                                         but as I braid & unbraid
                                   my dirty hair the kitchen smells like apples
                                                  & I’m crying over an appaloosa (a name that’s been wound
                    round my tongue since I was a fizzing child) & the rain won’t come
                                                  & it’s too dark for clouds
                                   & that horse may as well be the moon
     for how constantly it haunts me asking when will you ride again
                    when will storm carry you away

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