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Landscape with Horse Named Popcorn

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The hummingbird hovers over bougainvillea, darting in and out   
of blossoms as the bride throws   

her corset among laughter and waving hands. Seeing you, glass in hand, sunlight   
piercing the punch bowl’s crystal, I remember   

the horse, an Appaloosa, the white and gray markings   
like clouds, cumulus, one   

later on his grave, the 2X4 cross with name   
above a swell of land that could bring   
a man to his knees,   

or make him look up at fumbling shapes, cotton-fumed   
and slow. I can hear the screeching   

still. The colt had grabbed a turkey nesting in scrub oak, and prancing,   
shook it in his mouth as we ran   

reaching toward black feathers—then the fine   
spray of blood—until beyond adrenaline we began laughing,

as laughing now, brushing confetti away, you hand   
the bride flowers, narcissi, their green throats pushing up   
from wet stones in a jar.

Source: Poetry (March 2009)

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This poem originally appeared in the March 2009 issue of Poetry magazine

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Landscape with Horse Named Popcorn

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