Poem: Noa Nir

Illo for Noa Nir's poem.

The Eclipse, from the Perspective of a Fainting Goat

I saw it first on a blade of grass
that my tongue was touching.
The green turned greener
and greener still—
then obsidian.

I looked into my mother’s eyes across the pen.
She shivered in the sudden chill.
Was it winter?
The farmer hadn’t thought to bring us our jackets.

She opened her mouth to bleat
but her pupils flatlined
and she fell to her knees.

They dropped like rain around her—
all my sisters and the elders.
I watched my hooves get swallowed.
The hay turned grey, the barn roof grew long above us.

I heard the footsteps of the farmer
as the dark weaved through my head,
around the stems of my eyes,
cottoning my mouth,
thickening my alfalfa breath
until I could barely push it out.

I saw my eyelids when I hit the ground.
My horns locked with a cousin of mine.
The only heat that reached me
was the warmth of his head.

It felt like the shortest sleep.

In dreams now, I rush through the dark,
hurtling, horn over hoof,
to meet a ground I don’t even recognize.

When the farmer comes out to pasture,
and pours the sweet pellets
and bright orange peels,
I gratefully eat and forget all the questions
I don’t know how to ask.
Noa Nir is a writer living in Arlington, Virginia, whose work has been published in Quail Bell Magazine, Poetica, and Reductress. In the spring of 2013, she won the Academy of American Poets’ Prize for a Single Poem for her piece “Sestina for Saba.” She is currently—slowly—working on a novel based on The Bachelor franchise.

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