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By Natalie Shapero

What I adore is not horses, with their modern

domestic life span of 25 years. What I adore

is a bug that lives only one day, especially if

it’s a terrible day, a day of train derailment or

chemical lake or cop admits to cover-up, a day

when no one thinks of anything else, least of all

that bug. I know how it feels, born as I’ve been

into these rotting times, as into sin. Everybody’s

busy, so distraught they forget to kill me,

and even that won’t keep me alive. I share

my home not with horses, but with a little dog

who sees poorly at dusk and menaces stumps,

makes her muscle known to every statue.

I wish she could have a single day of   language,

so that I might reassure her don’t be afraid —

our whole world is dead and so can do you no harm.


Source: Poetry (November 2013)

Poet Bio

Natalie Shapero was born in Chester, Pennsylvania and earned a BA in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University, an MFA in Poetry from the Ohio State University, and a JD from the University of Chicago. For the 2011-2012 year, Shapero served as the Steven Gey Fellow with Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Shapero teaches at Tufts University. 

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