I, Rampant on a Field of Azure by Sandy Longhorn


Fierce fingers splayed,
          ready for raking
                    my enemy’s throat,
I lead with my hands.
          A snarl cut short curls
                    lip-corners, exposes my set
of crooked teeth –
          the better for the tearing
                    of meat. In this rendition, vision
restored, I let my eyes fill
          with threats,
                    the gold ring around the iris
enhanced by my rearing back
          into a god-sent beam of light.
At my breast, a metal plate,
          my body armor-sheathed,
                    all my strength driven down
through hips & thighs
          made strong through years
                    of bearing up under every weight.
Yet, this posture is posed,
          a performance unfurled,
                    meant only to be draped.


Sandy Longhorn is the 2016 recipient of the Porter Fund Literary Prize and the author of three books of poetry. The Alchemy of My Mortal Form, her latest book, won the 2014 Louise Bogan Award from Trio House Press. Her other books are The Girlhood Book of Prairie Myths from Jacar Press and Blood Almanac from Anhinga. Her poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, diode, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Hotel Amerika, The Southeast Review, and elsewhere. Longhorn holds an M.F.A. in in poetry from the University of Arkansas. She now teaches in the Arkansas Writers MFA Program at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. At UCA, she is a founding member and the director of the C.D. Wright Women Writers Conference. In addition, she blogs about poetry, writing, and teaching at Myself the only Kangaroo among the Beauty.