Michael Wasson

Of Hangers & Horses


My brother
learns to button his shirt
by buttoning our father’s flannel
he found in the closet

He hangs it outside
from the aspen’s barest limb
He knows
when he pulls
the buttons apart

it’s just like a father’s skull
like reservation skin
breaking open the torso

a hollow person
falling to the grass


Mom was breaking
into something bright

her favorite color

favorite animal
horse she’d say

a snowy appaloosa
breathing whinnying wide
in the field