Love Me With the Fierce Horse of Your Heart

Poetry / Gabrielle Grace Hogan

:: Love Me With the Fierce Horse of Your Heart ::

Then again, don’t. I can’t ride it off into any sunset 
so why bother. Mitski says I could stare at your back all day, 
& I do not understand. I go for a walk. 
This fast-fading sunfall feels like a threat, a throat flowering. 
I pass that house with the cactus wall. The plumbago bushes 
pushes whispers of wasps into frame. Lusty neighborhood cat 
a skipped stone storing heat in its belly 
before the eventual blossom. The tower blossoms orange 
as night pinkly fades in. 
Bats make up a quarter of all mammals— 
this is felt most in a Texan dusk, the acoustic coil 
of their clicks, their frantic chittering & blind low swoops, 
as the animal of the skyline bursts with bright yellowed teeth. 
I want to love someone enough to buy an island with them— 
now that, that’s the kind of love mountains move for. 
The heart is a mountain. Immovable. My geology professor 
was so beautiful in how he loved minerals—that giddy phosphate 
grin. Rock after rock coaxed, coddled wonder. 
I’m afraid 
I’ll never be in love again. Out of the corner of my ear, 
I hear the cowboy say we’re more ghosts than people. 
The heart is a cowboy. Riding off. I want 
to love someone enough to make them a stone, 
worn smooth by the brush of my thumb. 




From the writer


:: Account ::

I’ve become invest­ed in nego­ti­at­ing lone­li­ness and nos­tal­gia in my poet­ry as of late. Real­ly, I think I’ve been writ­ing about them for awhile; it’s only recent­ly I’ve real­ized this, and there­fore have leaned into it. I write these poems as an avenue to under­stand­ing my own rela­tion­ship with these top­ics. Over the past few years, I have expe­ri­enced two breakups, nei­ther pleas­ant and one with con­sid­er­able dam­age to myself. I have approached roman­tic rela­tion­ships with a much more bit­ter, cyn­i­cal edge, and have been unable to pin­point where lone­li­ness can feel so large when you are shar­ing a bed with some­one. I want to exam­ine the lone­li­ness that comes from feel­ing inca­pable of lov­ing some­one back, rather than inca­pable of being loved. How do you approach your own lone­li­ness when the alternative—to be with someone—is a much more seri­ous and drain­ing endeav­or than the movies make it seem? What does it mean, too, to be “with some­one”? What are our decid­ed-upon def­i­n­i­tions of love, and how are they flawed? Par­tic­u­lar­ly, how does lone­li­ness affect queer peo­ple in a dif­fer­ent way—we are already fight­ing for the “right to love” from those who would oppose us, but we are fight­ing our­selves some­times as well. And when we “fail” to love, to find a rela­tion­ship (par­tic­u­lar­ly one that close­ly resem­bles a het­ero­sex­u­al one), is that a greater fail­ure because we are meant to act as rep­re­sen­ta­tives of our com­mu­ni­ty? In a sim­i­lar vein, I have been strug­gling with the idea of “home”—what, or even who, makes a home? In the past few years I have begun and grad­u­at­ed from under­grad, and start­ed grad school, so I have lived in three places includ­ing my home­town. It’s been a neb­u­lous weav­ing through, where no place feels exact­ly right because pieces of your­self are stretched over dif­fer­ent states, and you’re in such a quick­ly chang­ing time of life—early 20s, where noth­ing is sta­ble, where your sense of self is as hard to define as a word in a lan­guage you don’t speak. How can you make a rela­tion­ship, make a home, when you don’t have a grasp of your­self? This poem doesn’t seek to answer those ques­tions, but does seek to illu­mi­nate them—I’ve tried to posi­tion the speak­er in a phys­i­cal sense of place through descrip­tion, that then flows into more abstract, emo­tion­al ter­ri­to­ry. The pres­ence of the phys­i­cal and the emo­tion­al togeth­er feels nec­es­sary for grasp­ing that feel­ing of being lost in space and lost in self. Some poets I’ve been read­ing who have had influ­ence on my cur­rent man­u­script include Sharon Olds, Joan­na Klink, Dorothea Lasky, and Eileen Myles. 


Gabrielle Grace Hogan is a poet from St. Louis, MO, cur­rent­ly liv­ing in Austin, TX, while pur­su­ing an MFA from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas at Austin. Her work has been pub­lished by the Acad­e­my of Amer­i­can Poets, Nashville Review, Kiss­ing Dyna­mite, Pas­sages North, and more. She has worked as the poet­ry edi­tor of Bat City Review and co-edi­tor of You Flower / You Feast, an online anthol­o­gy inspired by the music of Har­ry Styles. Her debut chap­book, Soft Oblit­er­a­tion, is avail­able now from Ghost City Press. Her social media and projects can be found on her web­site,