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Summer 2013

City Horse

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At the end of the road from concept to corpse,
sucked out to sea and washed up again—
with uprooted trees, crumpled cars, and collapsed houses—
facedown in dirt, and tied to a telephone pole,
as if trying to raise herself still, though one leg is broken,
to look around at the grotesque unbelievable landscape,
the color around her eyes, nose, and mane (the dapples of roan,
a mix of white and red hairs) now powdery gray—
O, wondrous horse; O, delicate horse—dead, dead—
with a bridle still buckled around her cheeks—“She was more smarter than me,
she just wait,” a boy sobs, clutching a hand to his mouth,
and stroking the majestic rowing legs,
stiff now, that could not outrun
the heavy, black, frothing water.

—Henri Cole

Henri Cole’s most recent book is Touch (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). Recently
he has been writing about Paris for The New Yorker’s Page-Turner.

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