Iris Jamahl Dunkle

The Curious Incident with the Horse

By this time her mother was dead
and her father’s body was diminshed:
no longer a decorated soldier, parading on cobbled streets.
He had become a shadow on a borrowed cot.
Blue fire put out.

It was a Phaeton Carriage that carried Charmian
away from sun’s course, from her father’s pulse.

The horse’s silk covered muscles.
Foam at its mouth. Speed and wind
beat her into a new self.

By the time she arrived back:
the gaping door was like a mouth speaking
a new language. His body removed.
She dropped the useless wax bag filled with medicine in her hand.

This is the year the fog comes down like a curtain.
Truth blurs. This is Oakland, after all. She unfolds.
Becomes the lonely granite topped mountain
of Mt. Desert Isle, where her father’s ghost

will always wish to return.