SPOTLIGHT: The Truth of Blue Horses by Lynn Finger

The ghost horse grazes

on hibiscus across the street.
He is translucent as a promise,
reflects a garage, an owl, a telephone

pole, the carousel, a mime, the path
to zero. It is the day before
sunset, the last that will tear

the light from the sky, a blood
rose crushed from a bush.
The owl hoots hollow from

a branch. I watch you go & don’t
call you back. It takes nothing
to realize you need less, life

is greedy to remind. It doesn’t
matter my lips were sewn
shut. The wind lacerates

the ghost horse’s shadow.
How badly do you want
the truth? He is invisible,
but I see him, so
I must be too.

The sky is what we tell each other

The sky is what we tell each other.
The earth whispers, its seared edges
are linked geese in an overlaid sky.
The men from the trainyard come
by my nana’s place, chalk a

stick kitten mark on her gate,
“kind woman,” because she gives
them sandwiches & an apple
when they seek hungry from
the tracks. She knows bereft.

I carry a stick with a kerchief
for my coins, a jackknife, walnuts,
an old turtle shell & butterfly
wing torn into a half heart.
It’s easier to sling them over the back,

than explain how it all broke
down, how many waves & words
can we unlearn, & tap on a gate
where a stick kitten stares at us.

The truth of blue horses

We cannot cure, only discover. The blue
horses in the parking lot say so.
We tilt back on a bench, hands together,
bees in petals. I ask, which one do you

like. You say, I slept on a glacier, once.
I have not slept on your glacier,
grew up by the train yards with my nana,
watched her give oat bread & fruit to hobbled

blue horses of men, they draw stick
kittens on her gate: kind woman.
I tell you this because I learn we can
wander, unseen, & leave signs from chalk,

beyond the grip of what’s been given. The truth
of healing is bitten into the shadow
of blue horses. The parking lot is
your glacier. Ice tilts, we lean to

yawing water. We’re deep & velvet as blue glass,
my mouth to yours. The sun is written
in pouring stars over icefields.
The truth of blue horses, is there is

no truth to blue horses, there is
only a redstart in the leaves above us
& we rest on the narrow ledge of her
song, a ribbon on the edge of the sky.


Lead ducks mirror serged waves.
The lake’s membrane is silent as slate.
Could be it’s late, the sun strands.

We are a stolen inking of stillness,
invisible in fog. Our damp hair drips
routes to our legs. We first kiss in

milky sky, we are in deep water,
dim & hushed, boat content. Steel clouds
iris behind us. We hear laps of our own

heartaches, a conch the water glosses over.
You don’t believe in saying I love you more
than once, the stars can close a net if there

are too many words. The wake the ducks leave
uncoils from the lip of their paddle, I breathe
their ripple in the limpid grey, the slow organic

velvet curve, they score it even deeper, belly
to wave dip. Ducks arrange themselves in the
deep water & lily buds. Like them, we stay

open to the sky & roam jade green,
traverse the nothing that we think is true,

& the sharp wind unspools to us, sky closes
its eyes, we kiss again, before we find out.


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