BY LINDSAY TIGUE
The Blackfoot of the Plains had over
a hundred words for the colors
of horses, their many varied,
running shades. If only we could all
be as reliable as the horses we rode in on.
I want many words for you. I want
something as far as I can throw it. No,
farther. You say, I throw like a girl. I do
everything that way. I ask, is the flue
open and you look up the chimney. I ask,
can you see the sky? Can we have
heat? Before you walk away, try to find it.
Fix the dripping radiator. Don’t travel
too far—walk, or ride out on some
journey alone. Our brains too big
for our bodies, too big for the cage
of our skeleton. Even our bipedal
nature changed everything. The bones
in our feet rearranged. This whole house
smells of body. Damp shower and sheet.
I show you my socks that are starting to thin
and you say, here come the toes. I point to our
curtains falling from window. You won’t
fix it all before you go.
Lindsay Tigue is the author of System of Ghosts, winner of the 2015 Iowa Poetry Prize and forthcoming from the University of Iowa Press in April 2016. She writes poetry and fiction and her work appears in Prairie Schooner, Blackbird, Rattle, and Hayden’s Ferry Review, among other journals. She is a graduate of the MFA program in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University and a current PhD student in Creative Writing at the University of Georgia.