genre 2
Poetry by Amy Hempel and Bret Anthony Johnston

First Available Artist

That’s not going to read as a horse, she said.
I misunderstood—I thought I was feeling pain—
arch neck, high tail, long croup, sixteen hands
and first bred: Arabian,
nervous horse—I taught her a name she didn’t know.
When danger approached, she
sang to it in a
language she had not yet learned.
Gandhi could do this, no need for a
salt march. The salt on skin enough,
skin ready to take the stain of Sumi ink.
Our Lady of Reparations
apprenticed on prisoners,
on generals, on their wives
in Okinawa—right out of the gate, so to
speak, of any group of animals she had ever seen.
The weather in the canyon,
the words in her run, her blood
needing commemoration
not in pasture, not in paddock,
not traditional pen and stylus
but on the backs of soldiers,
in the lines of a poem she—
I, we—
never once divined to write.
Amy Hempel is the author of The Dog of the Marriage, Tumble Home, At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom, and Reasons to Live, and the coeditor of Unleashed. Her stories have appeared in Harper’s, Vanity Fair, GQ, Tin House, The Harvard Review, and The Quarterly, and have been widely anthologized, including Best American Short Stories and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. Her newest collection, Sing to It, will be released by Scribner in early 2019. She teaches in the Graduate Writing Program at Bennington College and at Stony Brook Southampton and lives near New York City.

Bret Anthony Johnston is the author of the internationally best-selling novel Remember Me Like This and Corpus Christi: Stories. He is also the editor of Naming the World and Other Exercises for the Creative Writer and the Director of the James A. Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas.
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