by Adam Ortiz

When cruelty becomes as common
as trash bags and bicycles in big cities
eventually you just stop counting
the frantic eyes, the whining, the beatings.

But I see you, half-blinded, exhausted,
breathing in and filtering the city’s smog
with your ancient body, pulling the weight
of human tourists, human lovers, human
children, who are early learning if you love
a thing you should imprison it until it dies.

But I see you, someday, running like a
train at full speed, blood oil pumping
through powerful limbs in open fields,
steam exploding through your nostrils,
flirting, ripping up fresh green vegetation,

forgetting what they’ve done to you.


Adam Ortiz is a freelance writer, poet, and educator.  He writes
and reads regularly with local poets in western Massachusetts.

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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 11, Number 2
(Fall 2016)

Copyright © 2016
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.