There are no horses here by Erin Bedford

Poem title: There are no horses here
Poet name: Erin Bedford
Poem: only the gate you bolted 
through as soon as I smoothed your flank
and whispered in your velvet ear 
Gwan’go	Hold on
If you’re a steed in this one
I shouldn’t leave out that pretty Bay
or the saddle laid on the fence

Alright		that never happened
There are no horses here
only this memory-gallop 
whipped on by the report from Pompeii 
about a discovery under hard layers 
a mare’s skeleton in ash
leather harness inside the outline of a horse

How do you hold the shape of long gone beauty

With an injection of plaster but also with stories 
about that last night in the stable
poems plumping a husk so it won’t collapse
because there are no horses here
only bones and a harness      
imagined echo of a four-beat gait 
the cave of a heart racing
End of poem.
Credits and bio: Copyright © Erin Bedford
A previous version of this poem appeared online in Train: a poetry journal, October 18, 2018.
Erin Bedford is a poet and novelist. After completing an Honours B.A with a Specialist in History at the University of Toronto, she attended the Humber School for Writers and was later mentored by poet Betsy Warland through Vancouver Manuscript Intensive. Her short work has appeared in The Temz Review, Juniper, Map Literary, Train, GUEST, the lickety split, Catamaran Literary Reader and is forthcoming in EVENT magazine. She is founder and editor of Pinhole Poetry: a digital journal.