Hugging the Goat
And then I hear a little bell and go up to the attic and put my arms around a goat
Maybe I imagined you. It’s possible
I’ve unfolded you inside me
like three children in a trench coat.
Your violent wobble. Your little horns —
these things I see that may not be real
at all. Damp illusions with which
I try to keep warm. This sodden sweater
I keep getting tangled up in. Look,
I’m struggling out of one sleeve, look,
I’m reaching for you. I’d happily tear through
every hang up I’ve wound around your neck.
I’ll put my arms around what’s left. Even
if you kick. Even if you bolt.
JESSICA TRAYNOR’s third collection Pit Lullabies (Bloodaxe, 2022) was a PBS Recommendation. She’s a judge for the 2023 Forward Prizes.