Jennifer Moore

[I took aim and let the horseshoe go]



I took aim and let the horseshoe go;

it hooked the stake in the sand and landed.

Two dead and three, then three ringers three.

Non-contact sports have their own erotic appeal.


Things that are Distant Though Near. Things

that Give a Tight Feeling. Things Not Found

Through the Lens of a Telescope

and Visible Only When Blindfolded.


To miss the mark completely

requires its own precision. Lie down,

for instance, shoot a bullet into the sky,

then wait a decade for it to fall to the earth.


Being honest here: those ten years are a bitch.

The bar’s closed. We mix our own drinks and draw

our own targets. I make of your body a bull’s eye.

In a series of rifle experiments, nothing was shot


but the waiting gives a tight feeling. We roll the dice

and move two spaces east. Feet to feet in the grass,

we toss bullets between us. I miss you, you miss me.

We miss each other. A draw makes sense


but ten years later, the shot drops on the lawn.

This late in the game, your neck’s the stake for my shoe;

it lands in the sand. Two dead and three, then three

ringers three. Stalemate, standoff. One dead lock.


JENNIFER MOORE has poems published in American Letters & Commentary, Best New Poets, TYPO, Columbia Poetry Review and elsewhere, and criticism in Jacket2 and The Offending Adam. She teaches creative writing at Ohio Northern University and lives in Defiance, Ohio.