Back to Issue Nineteen.

the reins



They came out of the sky last night
in droves black droves
like birdsign. And placed me back
in a house on the mountain
forming erudite arguments
for a future I don’t own yet
and may never. This is how an old man
losing sight still rises in the morning
remembering the way he soaped the flanks
of a horse he called Granada, a horse
that didn’t belong to him. That same
motion every Sunday. Circling and back
to front. The fine dark hairs caught in the foam
on his palm. How the creature shivered slightly
sweat rising to the surface
while its small and dogged brain
thought about a diamond, a diamond.

Jay Deshpande is the author of Love the Stranger (YesYes Books, 2015). He has held residencies at the Saltonstall Arts Colony and the Vermont Studio Center and was selected for the 2015 Scotti Merrill Memorial Award by Billy Collins. Poets & Writers named him one of the top debut poets of 2015. Poems have appeared in Boston ReviewSixth Finch, the PEN Poetry Series, Poem-a-DayPrelude, and elsewhere. Essays and reviews have been published in SlateThe New RepublicThe Millions, and Publishers Weekly. He teaches at Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn.

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