10.20.17
Weekly poem on Trump Presidency

 

CARL PHILLIPS

Tugging The Arrow Out

There’s a nudging that a living horse
will sometimes extend towards a dead one,
          a nudging not so much against death – what is
knowable to a horse, but not understandable –
but against that space right before loneliness
          settles in for real that horses
do, it seems, understand. 
And so that was the first day. 
          The night was what night always is:
a black starfish, black according to some
for holiness, to others for the limbs themselves,
          unfurling as if from long sleep or a late stiffness,
or as when a quiet thing, and very still, starts moving,
moves, one stiff black limb     
         at a time.

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Carl Phillips is the author of 14 books of poems, including the forthcoming Wild Is the Wind (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2018) and Reconnaissance (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), which won the Lambda Literary Award, the PEN USA Award in Poetry, and the Washington State Book Award.  Phillips teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.

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illustration: anna_croc01

illustration: anna_croc01