A Man Goes West and Falls Off His Horse in the Desert by Donika Ross

The horse gallops into the sun with a ghost on his back.
The horse like a memory racing away.

He is smaller than the butte, is smaller than the desert,
Is smaller than the sky.

A setting sun.
A broken leg

The man feels of his chest. Am I a ghost?
His lungs reply: You are the bravest stone.

O, how the sky stretches like skin above him!
He wonders that it doesn’t split at his voice.


Donika Ross is a Cave Canem fellow and received her MFA from the Michener Center for Writers. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in RHINO, West Branch, and Crazyhorse. She is currently a lecturer at Vanderbilt University.