1. they come—
in a harrow of sacred pilgrims to the arch,
beloved bestowed & innocent
with a creek in the smile
our old pillars are falling apart, like singles:
as a strand out of mayhem
but today, first, the smoke is in the barn
like an orchid fire or obvious forest agni —
a citrus split in the dark centre
We stand, we fold, we finger,
the horses are dead and the ashes are craving rabbits.
2. they tell—
it would be the last time, last Oklahoma
farmland on gunpoint
I told you they would come for us
in a kind way.
I told you a bit of your meat
will run on the rear of my neck
I raced, I tried, walked backwards on the leaky
pebbles across the pond.
3. I try—
to climb a wounded horse, I told you they were no guests.
4. they think—
Of making it into a cemetery. A dead horse,
a dead master, and until you call us dead.
5. I told you—
The only way this would end was in ruins.
6. I would—
run a pint of beer in the falling pillars
and hide to Alabama.
7. they watch—
when you cry on the lost island
you will become a feathered man
a mad bloke left alone after a red storm,
a late worm
when they go after you
they will take everything but debris.
Ajay Sawant is the assistant editor at the Southern Humanities Review and 2021 CPB Writing Fellowship recipient from The Bombay Review. He has received honourable mentions for the 2021 Christopher Hewitt Poetry Award and Dan Veach Poetry Prize. His poems and critical work appear in The London Magazine, Live Wire, Hawaii Pacific Review, The Bombay Review, The Louisville Review, Lunch Ticket, and Cold Mountain Review, among others. Ajay often tweets at @ajaycycles.