"Deciphering the Oracle" by Annie Frazier

perhaps mothers of diapered babies 

do this too: examine each new shit produced.                                        

the horse was sick last week. miles 

of tangled intestines stalled & stilled. stagnant.


so here i am, bending & peering into the miracle 

pile he’s just made, searching for meaning


like a priest of delphi straining to interpret garbled nonsense

uttered by the writhing girl inhaling noxious vapors.


gazing at this fresh turd, awaiting mystic predictions, 

i’m partly the priest but i am the girl too


& always there’s a fear that really i’m the bedraggled farmer,

tossing one last clinking fistful of gold into the pot, 


desperate for a better forecast this time around.