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5:00 A.M. Central Daylight

 

Nebraska has a bakery for early souls.

The passenger tweaked on Eastern time

 

will find brown succor in the paper cup

that speeds him on a straight line Omaha

 

to Lincoln. Watch the cedars rise beyond

the shining Zephyr and stretch into a red

 

horizon. Pray and chant in white. This day’s

morning is to stay or go. O, all aboard!

 

*  *  *

 

Owensboro

 

Two horses in a field at night.

I am riding you into the moon.

You tremble under me as I tongue

your ear. You worship my name. 

My father whipped me into a

saddle, taught me how to do this.

 

The day comes when you throw me.

When I curse you in jodhpurs

and leave red welts on your body.

The metal rod the doctors used

to push your sternum out is where

I’ll tie the reins to tame you.

 

For now, let us lie among the tufts

of peonies on this hard ground. Let me

forget my father, gazing away as he rode

his horse beside me. Listen, love, to the

dark gallop of my heart and the sound of cars

hitting rumble strips in the Kentucky night.

 

 

About the Author
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Graham was born in South Africa, lives in Brooklyn, and has studied with Amy Beeder, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Jericho Brown and Ada Limón.  He’s been published in New Ohio Review, Burningword, FRiGG, OxMag, Arsenic Lobster, Caliban, The Round, and elsewhere.  He is a new believer in the Oxford comma and is looking forward to publishing his first manuscript.