HAIR OF THE DOG
When he realized he could cause dreams, he started with his horse. Run, he said, and the horse stomped and pawed in its sleep. Fly, he said, and it twitched and shook.
This must be how God discovered himself. Then cry, he commanded his sleeping wife. She spilled out of the joints in her lids. Drown. She coughed, sputtered, head from side to side.
How power can stop accumulating, he could not be sure. All he could do was gather his breath, assume his role, do what I’m meant to do. So he clapped his hands and flakes of stone and clay turned to rain from his palms.
He made them dream death and penance, made them tie it around their wrists like balloons. I’ll teach them consequences. Then his life started to revolve around checking to make sure everyone was breathing.
—from Rattle #28, Winter 2007
Kristin Abraham: “My poetry always revolves around loneliness, loss, and escape, but subject matter varies depending on current obsessions in my life. Past obsessions—I like to think they find me; I don’t find them—have included Little Red Riding Hood, serial killers, and machines/robots. ‘Hair of the Dog’ is part of a cowboy project, tentatively titled The Disappearing Cowboy Trick.” (web)