Layne Ransom

The Last Chronicles of Equestrianism



Is this how it feels to be a beautiful bullet

train or a forest fire throwing

a party on somebody’s life?

All the Christmas lights fall at once

from the trees and shatter

into so many punk-ass rainbows,

which is how a don’t-give-a-shit

universe chooses to celebrate

the New Year—Bud Light accompanied

by a severed arm in a burning field.

My shoulders become a rising

continent carrying infinite horses

into battle against a column

of pink smoke and a girl drowning

in a plastic bag. The adolescents

split into teams for the winter

and lope across strangled farmlands

to determine who will die in the




In the beginning, God cursed

Himself for the little stag

that impaled himself

on the tip of one universe

reaching into another, and

inside that crumbling body

haloed by strange teeth

and little purple flowers

will I build my church,

and the gates of this

sadness shall not prevail

against it. Hallelujah,

poppies in the field burst

like blood squeezed through

one million victorious fists.

Now enter the birth of the day.

Let a wheat-colored scrap

of fabric hang from your

shoulders proudly.

Tie your shoelaces

to another person’s shoelaces,

then see how possible it is

to become a swan.

You might collapse

into a heap of light.

Now you may crawl

back to your unsettling oceans,

now you may release

your fuck-fierce kingdom of kites.


LAYNE RANSOM shamelessly loves Sting’s solo albums. Her chapbook You Are The Meat was recently released from H_NGM_N. She is the design editor for Stoked Journal, an online contributor to Vouched Books, and a new MFA candidate in the New Writers’ Project at UT Austin.  No one can tell her that The Soul Cages is not a good record.