Horses When They Run Back into Burning Buildings

Horses When They Run Back into Burning Buildings
by Jill Mceldowney


Forget what it is to be alarm.
Only a fox can kill a fox but how romantic to be
a fox hunted from horseback, with only teeth for protection.
You want my mysteries. You want to eat what runs
in the orchard at the hour of ghosts and vixens.
I become such a ghost. I have the will of wild swans.
Say my name, so called tamer of women, you tame no foxes here—
a fox for a woman is the whole point, is suffering
how that red animal starves in a leg trap, rather than eat her own paws.
I know the discipline it takes
to starve to take something you love and set it on fire.
I create a kind of heat only animals can sense, I am all animal
like the hard breathing of a horse.
I am afraid of you in the way I am afraid of horses.
But tell me, what would you do to me if you were here?


Jill Mceldowney is the author of the chapbook ‘Airs Above Ground’ (Finishing Line Press) as well as ‘Kisses Over Babylon’ (dancing girl press). She is a cofounder and editor of Madhouse Press. She is also a recent National Poetry Series Finalist. Her previously published work can be found in journals such as Muzzle, Fugue, Vinyl, Whiskey Island and other notable publications.