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Published: Thu Oct 15 2009
Wosene Worke Kosrof, The Inventor V (detail), 2022, acrylic on linen. Courtesy of Sullivan Goss Gallery, Santa Barbara, California
Come Back

I can’t see all of any horse at once.
They weave through twilight, in and out of sight,
as the sky drains of color, enters dusk.

The barn’s a bloodstain on an ivory dress,
lost in the skirt, a spiraling red kite.
I can’t see all of any horse at once.

Between us there is only field and dust
a fence and a shadow-fence. Beside me lightning
splashes the hillside, loosens it so dusk

can wring each soggy evergreen, unlace
pink threads of berries from the shrubs. I wait.
I can’t see all of any horse at once.

The moon has flown, though in its place a husk
clings to the sky. The horses figure-eight
in single file. Through rain-sown drapes of dusk

I try to count them, climb up on the fence.
Their foreheads shine with pearly stars, ghost-lit.
I can’t see all of any horse at once—
they multiply, and shiver in the dusk.

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Chloe Honum is the author of the poetry collection The Tulip-Flame. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Paris Review, Orion, AGNI, Poetry, Shenandoah, and elsewhere, and was included in The Best New Poets 2008. She received a 2009 Ruth Lilly Fellowship from The Poetry Foundation. Her awards also include fellowships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the MacDowell Colony. (updated 4/2015)

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