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Kingdom for a Horse

Mela Kirkpatrick

Selected by Mary Angelita Ruiz, Assistant Executive Editor

Saul’s horse knew the secret art
of conversion, the sudden buck
that throws a man so the back of his head
thuds the hard earth just so,
the momentary loss of orientation,
and then, above,
the quiet intensity of noon’s light
paralyzing the senses.
Perhaps modern evangelists
have forgotten the secret,
fearing that when their true task
is finished, they too
would just stand there, butt out,
stupidly chewing their bit,
while Saul—now Paul—
lies in the dust
enveloped in the Aramaic voice
of a blazing sun somewhere
on the road to Damascus.

Mela Kirkpatrick is currently an instructor in the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, where she received her MFA in poetry in 2010. She studied Art History and Creative Writing at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her poems have been published in Agenda, The Carolina Quarterly, Hot Sonnets, and Measure.


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