Cole W. Williams


my aunt loves horses, talks mostly horses
she’s out there right now three hours into farm
country—you would pass Grandma’s
square of pine, keep going, eventually take a right,
then a right, another, I imagine course horse-
hair on the seat of her truck, her clothes, everything,
once, in the city, I saw a horse—maybe more than one,
three legs with hooves sticking up from a gelatinous mass,
in a department store sorting bin, a gray bin
[full of clothes and hangers sticking out like sharp
elbows but] carrying the dead now. horses.
allowed to break form, release the lines of beauty,
[while touring a necropsy lab] in line, parade to the river,
with other horses [bins] for incineration—basic solution pH 14.
I have always been jealous of my aunt, my cousins,
and now I move my fingers over chewed boards,
a pasture fence, careful of slivers, I visit them
twice a day, visiting this farm, locking eyes, their tails
a rhythmic dance to keep the flies at bay.

Cole W. Williams poems have appeared in Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Intima: Journal of Narrative Medicine, Martin Lake Journal, Indolent Books online, Waxing & Waning, Harpy Hybrid Review, and other journals, as well as in a number of anthologies. She recently attended Rockvale Writer’s Colony.

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Fall 2021