A horse and dog played tag every morning on the grass. The dog, an Australian Shepard, would gnaw on the ankle of the horse, and then the horse would chase the dog but in a lumbering soft way. It was as if the horse knew it could crush the dog with the slightest misstep.

Last month my mom died seven times. After that, my morning commute tried to become a metaphor. The way the cranes bobbed and ate should have meant something. The dog and horse should have meant something. The bullfrogs in the creek slipping into the murk as I passed should have meant something.

As selfish as it was, I could only think about my life and how I would be dead one day.

How many people have died in this field over the last thousands of years? How many had sex here? How many cried or slept or ate or fought?

I wanted these ghosts, but I only had the bent grass and the limp haystacks.

Adam Crittenden holds an MFA in poetry from New Mexico State University and serves as an editor for Lingerpost, Puerto del Sol and Apostrophe Books. His work has appeared or will appear in Whiskey Island, Metazen, Matter Press, >kill author, and several other journals. He currently teaches writing in Albuquerque.


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