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Landscape with Horse Named Popcorn


The hummingbird hovers over bougainvillea, darting in and out
of blossoms as the bride throws

her corset among laughter and waving hands. Seeing you, glass in hand, sunlight
piercing the punch bowl's crystal, I remember

the horse, an Appaloosa, the white and grey markings
like clouds, cumulus, one

later on his grave, the 2 × 4 cross with name
above a swell of land that could bring
a man to his knees,

or make him look up at fumbling shapes, cotton-fumed
and slow. I can hear the screeching

still. The colt had grabbed a turkey nesting in scrub oak, and prancing,
shook it in his mouth as we ran

reaching toward black feathers—then the fine
spray of blood—until beyond adrenaline we began laughing,

as laughing now, brushing confetti away, you hand
the bride flowers, narcissi, their green throats pushing up
from wet stones in a jar.


Mark Irwin

Large White House Speaking
New Issues Poetry & Prose


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