But when we met you looked me in the eye,
mane shaved halfway down
arching like a bridge, bent nose to tail
to better sentry
me, standing at your hip
looking at you looking at
me, on the wild precipice of adolescence,
staring back into the keep
of your eyes all pupil—
the green of mine asking, who are you?
This question thrown back at me
like your head over your shoulder,
like a challenge then: who do you think you are?
like invitation, when I look back now,
like you did then, head over shoulder.
I’ve heard it said that love comes when you least expect it—
but I went looking for you, sifting through the stream of ads, a miner,
in the grainy image I saw the black gold of your coal coat shone smooth, an oil slick.
I followed the map north to you, a bicycling priest pointed the way.
I heard you first
a snorty blow through stall bars
then a whinny, a lyric I’d learn later.
And then I saw you.
I’ve heard it said that love at first sight isn’t real—
and sometimes I remember falling over the weeks, months and years, the todays and
When I see you see me and come
singing—I know you.
But I know it happened in an instant, the first
that what your wild eye saw was what I saw trapped between us,
in an endless mirroring of our lenses,
all the afters, loping our way.
We saw it all then like a memory—
so as the afters came, they were familiar,
and we called to them,
I know you!
Morgan Riedl is a doctoral student at Ohio University in Athens, where she lives with her partner and her retired horse (not in the house). She has an MA in creative nonfiction from Colorado State University, and her essays have been featured in The Normal School, Sonora Review, and Entropy.