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Wild Horses

By Dani Holway

our hearts are beating backwards-

clam-cold and calloused,


your fingers drip down my honey hair like wax,

bursting forth on leaded heels and hooves,

restless tides from a wretched waning moon

a subtle warning that what goes around

comes around, what rises

will set, what lives

will explode.

rigid bitch, what are you doing here?

your neck careens at a shadow’s swallow.

a swallow is trapped panicked in your chest.

whole saddle bags of soot and sand

have left creases underneath your eyes

and in the hollows of your backwards-beating

heart where he keeps




there is a ringing in your ears;

bells toll brash like gun barrel blasts but

you can still hear the wind whistling her name.

a little wild west dreaming,

a little lonesome dove screaming,

“don’t trust the ship that splinters and swells,”

it’s full-bellied bullshit.

your heart begins to beat backwards,

a polished machine, like a thick-triggered roulette,




we are wild horses, you and I, 

traipsing through old boneyards of blind faith,

running from the ropes and the rodeo,

bucking backwards,

untied, unhinged,

swallowed in our sweat-wet sheets and

purposeful in our speechlessness.

because backward heartbeats sync

to the wallop of wild hooves on dry land,

and it’s just loud enough to drown our doubts in the dirt.

Born and raised in Texas, Dani Holway was gifted her first art easel on her second birthday and has been making a mess ever since. A passionate writer, actor, and aspiring 90’s sitcom character, she uses an array of art mediums to explore trauma and the intimacies of human emotion and connectivity. She recently moved to Chicago, Illinois to pursue her MFA in Writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and to continue her pursuit of the world’s most delicious pizza. Most importantly, she is mom to the best dog ever, Marty McFly.

Website –

Social Media – Instagram: @xdanimc

Twitter: @xdanimccall

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