The Mare of Money

“Another dead mare waits…”

Roger Reeves

Another dead mare waits

in the shoals of some body

of water, waits to be burden,

borne into a foaming ocean,

where it might become food

for whales, or, simply empty

signifier—hair latched to the sea’s undulation

like Absalom’s beauty

caught in the playful branches

of a tree desiring union,

entanglement, thick confusion—

but not this mare;

she does not get the luxury

of a lyric—a song that makes our own undoing

or killing sweet even as we go down

into the fire to rise as smoke.

This horse must lie, eyes open,

amongst the stones and fresh water

crawfish in Money, Mississippi,

listen to the men’s boots break the water

as they drop a black boy’s body near her head,

pick him up, only to let him fall again

there: bent and eye-to-eye with her

as though decaying is something

that requires a witness

—as though the mare might say:

on Tuesday after the rain fell,

the boy’s neck finally snapped

from the weight of the mill fan;

he never looked at me again.

Or the boy might say:

No more. They part

here—the boy’s body found

in another man’s arms, carried back

to town, as the horse says nothing

because horses don’t speak, besides

this one’s dead.

Roger Reeves is an author and poet who earned his PhD from the University of Texas, Austin. His powerful work confronts readers with subject matter such as, race, death and murder.