Elizabeth J. Colen


I wait a few minutes for the horse to nose my palm. She’s uninterested in my handful of grass. She’s uninterested in a Tootsie Roll, wrapped or unwrapped that Fancy forces between her teeth. The air is muted yellow with the chaff of thrown hay. There’s hay in my hair. Hay in the mare’s mane. Fancy’s itchy and she won’t calm down. The horse is tied to the fence in front of us. I can tell she wants to run. The sun falls behind the barn. It’s cold in shadow. The red shed has seen deader girls. I don’t know how to reckon this. You with the answers inked all in. You with lipstick smeared. You on your knees. Playing at house with boys, with girls. You call me up, sobbing. We refuse to hang up, admit defeat. I can’t take Fancy back. This fence becomes a home. One will make amends. One becomes a dial tone.

Elizabeth Colen's first book of prose poems, Money for Sunsets was released last year. A flash fiction chapbook Dear Mother Monster, Dear Daughter Mistake will be published with Rose Metal Press in May 2011.

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