2/5 by Robert Beveridge

for River Huston

There are some horses you just
can’t beat, odds be damned.
The analysts, of course, will try
to find the animal best suited
to the upset, the cracks
in form, slow works. They prophesy,
these Pharisees in picket lines
before the Temple; but still the crowd,
forever right, swings the track
democracy back to the superhorse.

Back then, I was too drunk to wonder
whether I would ever make it out;
New Hope was the world, the world
was New Hope, and the next drink.
The next poem. Fistfuls of paper,
everpresent pen, a cigarette. This
was all. Not motion. We would sit
and watch the river, stagnant,
closer every day to muddy death.

My mother watched the news, would
comment, distill: “your friend with AIDS
talked safe sex to high-school kids
again today.” Always with the tone
that spoke of the hammer, the two-
by-fours, the secured door.
“Those kids, they learn
this stuff and then go out
and do it.”
+++++++++“At least
they do it safe.” Two or three,
perhaps, spared HIV.

The superhorse is always backed
because of heart. They float him wide,
box him, run up on his heels,
but he finds a way around, darts
through a hole when no one else
is looking. Comes home on top
and pays two-sixty. You take
your thirty on the dollar, and the feel
you’ve backed a winner once again.

 

 

Robert Beveridge makes noise (http://xterminal.bandcamp.com/) and writes poetry just outside Cleveland, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances in Chiron Review, Zombie Logic Review, and The Literateur, among others.