For the Girls with Dead Horses


their idle fingers braiding the air,
oiling shadow saddles in half-lit tack rooms,
bedding fresh shavings in empty stalls.
For the girls who lead their ghosts
behind them on loose ropes unraveling
into rainbow papered bedrooms,
the far corners of schoolyard blacktops
where the girls with dead horses meet
to carefully unfold each creased page
of notes passed under desktops,
lined in wet loping cursive
long and unbroken,
tender hieroglyphics
of their animal love, animal pain
then carefully refolded,
tucked back into pockets
or saved in shoeboxes
until the girls with dead horses ride again.

Jenny Della Santa