offerings :: chloë honum

I have saved my pantomime of the sky for you. Let me lie with my head in your lap. I will sing the song of the trees in the cold wind, the way they rush up like flames, their leaves rippling. I want to show you everything you might have missed. With my fingers I will emulate moonlight resting on a field of violets. I am about as convincing as the child playing the sun in the school recital. But I have rain in my hair. This much is true. Let me bring it to you.

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come back :: chloë honum

I can’s 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.

ballerina, released :: chloe honum

On stage each night I shape a single story.
It’s later, driving home, that vertigo
sets in. I lose all focus, see the roads
tangling in the wind. Rain sings on stones
that lead to my front door; its music holds
no cues for me. I light a cigarette
and lean against a tree. Clear blossoms froth
along the boughs, a daddy longlegs prowls
over the grass, its legs on eight blade tips.
The moon is spinning in a sack of mist.
How can I sleep? I dance the murders of
the Firebird, my red tutu a flame
in a cave, then fall. I cannot grasp my life.
I float. The garden shakes behind my smoke.

from the poet