the minnesota review is pleased to feature each of our nominees for the 2013 Pushcart Prize in the coming weeks. This week we are excited to bring you Bradley Harrison’s “Miniature Horse.” Please check back next week for more on our nominees and their work.
Gorilla man choked my brother in the pantry.
For clinking a spoon on his teeth.
Every day Blarney killed a coon and carried it up.
To the deck where he’d ripped Adam’s leg to the marrow.
Polaroids milky his shin with black rust and the lawsuit.
Gorilla Man says Adam’s mom is a meth head.
Before making me gather the stones from her garden.
I hit all of his golf balls out into the pasture.
I thought I had found them when the miniature horse.
Beau died intestines snaked from his asshole Gorilla Man says.
He swallowed one you must have missed.
He stood on the deck in his spandex shorts.
Thick bent dick pulse beating my mother.
Nodding behind him in her flannel bathrobe.
Gorilla man says stop eating like a nigger.
Says you’re lying to me when I wasn’t.
I threw rocks at parked tractors I shot swallows with my pellet gun.
Before my seventh grade football games he taped both my ankles.
On the gate of his pickup.
His hands leather hammers I learned how to throw.
My neighbor Chesley told me his mom told him.
To stay away from Gorilla Man that he’d shoved toothpicks one.
By one in the four year old ass of his previous son I was ten.
Then building a dam in the creek behind the house.
Gathering branches moss chicken wire against some steel.
Posts already staked in the bed it was raining.
Dead dogs I ran into the woods.
Should have checked first for stakes but I didn’t.
I just jumped.
“Minature Horse” appeared in issue 81 (Fall 2013) of the minnesota review. Bradley Harrison is a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas in Austin. His work can be found in New American Writing, Forklift Ohio, West Branch, Best New Poets 2012 and elsewhere. His chapbook Diorama of a People, Burning is available from Ricochet Editions (2012). He currently teaches at Truman State University. You can read more from our Pushcart nominees by accessing our online archive at Duke University Press, available here.