Uncapped my tank and siphoned till
my water hose wet the waters
those thieves water their horses with.
Silent herd, tongues of fire.


One afternoon, five or six of my neighbor’s horses got free and sprinted into the street. It was a faulty gate latch, one my neighbor had welded incorrectly. He cussed himself so hard, his bald head turning deep red, flecks of spit caught in his mustache. I know him as a gentle man, so his anger shocked me. My imagination ran: What if somebody else had let out his horses? What if horse thieves took them? How would that anger be directed? (I should say that my neighbor’s a good man—he’d never enact the revenge we see in this poem.)


Aaron Alford's essays have appeared in or are forthcoming from Bellingham Review, River Teeth, Hobart, The Los Angeles Review, Sonora Review, and elsewhere. He is currently pursuing a PhD in the creative writing program at Texas Tech University, where he serves as managing editor of Iron Horse Literary Review. Find him online at www.aaronalford.com.

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