Whom I Have Blocked Out

Asked Have you ever asked….. ridden a horse before….. / Said
He’s real gentle….. and lifted me up

I trusted what men said was gentle
to hurt….. and I knew I couldn’t say / No

to what men said was gentle
and lifted me up

* …. * …. *

Onto the horse no….. saddle he
Without a saddle seemed….. naked the horse seemed more

Naked than I could make myself naked
but not….. / As naked as I could be made to be….. / Lifted

me up from the day / At the farm
Into the memory already forming

* …. * …. *

Me crouched low trembling clinging to the mane
The mane….. alive but not as part / Of the body of the horse alive

As part of the wind a fire at the end of the wind
Me burning in it six….. years old by six

I have / Already been….. / A sickness in the hearts of men
By six I’ve been the sieve through

* …. * …. *

Which they expel their sickness
said / You ever

ridden said the man….. who must have been
the father of the friend / From school who had invited me to the farm

And this is how I have forgiven him….. / I have remembered
only the beginning of the ride

* …. * …. *

Then nothing then the bath….. in the trough in the field
Far from the house in the brown water stripping in / The field

your body is a gift you have to live through
Remember me my suffering to me

To whom….. have I been suffering
To whom will I be healed

Shane McCrae

Shane McCrae

Shane McCrae’s most recent books are Sometimes I Never Suffered, shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize, and The Gilded Auction Block, both published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Later this year, the Cleveland State University Poetry Center will release an expanded edition of his first book, Mule, with an introduction by Victoria Chang. McCrae has received a Lannan Literary Award, a Whiting Writer’s Award, an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. He lives in New York City and teaches at Columbia University.
Shane McCrae

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Author: Shane McCrae

Shane McCrae’s most recent books are Sometimes I Never Suffered, shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize, and The Gilded Auction Block, both published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Later this year, the Cleveland State University Poetry Center will release an expanded edition of his first book, Mule, with an introduction by Victoria Chang. McCrae has received a Lannan Literary Award, a Whiting Writer’s Award, an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. He lives in New York City and teaches at Columbia University.