“Goats are the closest animal to the human. They eat anything, their name is slang for
for randy men, and, as kids, they frollick.” – Aaron Burr
From the front stoop it’s the 21st century;
medieval parade of business monks staring
at small tablets, F train lets (out. Out) come wave
after wave. Way in my back garden, time
is not fixed at (all. All) the ghost goats who eat
our plum tomatoes arrive. One is cut on her
northeast paw, deep, a knife wound, (clean.
Clean) it with dry water and wrap it in real gauze.
White mesh with a bleed spot of imaginary red.
Above us there’s a deeper blue, to my right
green ivy climbs lit up in citrine streetlight. Spire
in verdigris, isosceles, acute, clicks the circle
of the sky like a comma. Down here, my goat
paw throbs. I wince. I’m not sure what to do.
I wince at drinking, and not drinking. I run.
I hoped for rain, and am now faced with water.
I may float in the tree, at any age, with injured
beast. We balance up on branches as we were
borne to (do. Due) up, and back, and farther.
Jennifer Michael Hecht is a poet and historian. Her third, most recent poetry book, is Who Said (Copper Canyon). Hecht’s work on philosophy includes, Doubt: A History (HarperOne) and Stay (Yale), a history of suicide and the arguments against it. She is working on a poetry manuscript called “Anti-Gravity,” and is now writing “The Wonder Paradox,” a prose book about poetry and meaning in today’s world (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, forthcoming).