Category Archives: CPR Volume 15, Issue 3

Cider Press Review, Volume 15, Issue 3, July 2013

Swimming,
by Wendy Taylor Carlisle

Grownups warned us about the treachery of horses,
their devious tempers, their suspicion, dark as

a hay barn, that could sink them to their knees,
roll them over on you in a split second. Every

pliant muzzle hid grinding teeth. White-showing
eyes, fickle hindquarters were adages against the certain

pleasures I knew: a wing of breeze, the lifting
haunches, the trumpet-nostrils sighing against my palm

The weekend’s caveat flew past my neck
like a hoof, as Florida heat gathered the dirt, black

into my elbow crease and crusted my dusty breath
in my nose. My pony trekked with me through the palmettos

scrub, the man-dug hills, the haze-hung flats. I panted
and longed for wet hair and the rock pits’ white sand

edge where I would draw my breath back, startled
again by a feast of green water and knee my mare

out from the beach quick, before she panicked,
wheeled, in a frantic splash toward land. Swimming, her

hindquarters sank, her neck rode up like a seahorse,
her front hooves flailed the afflicted surface.

And if later I should slide off over water-slicked withers,
my mount plunging and splashing and if

a horseshoe found my back just where wings might form,
pushed down hard, when I broke the surface, spitting,

it was up to me to understand it wasn’t malice put me there
but need for certainty, for shore.

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 14, Issue 1.

Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives in the Ozark Mountains. Her two books are Reading Berryman to the Dog (Jacaranda Press, 2000) and Discount Fireworks (Jacaranda Press, 2008.) Read more about her work at www.wendytaylorcarlisle.com. www.wendytaylorcarlisle.com.

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My Wedding Dress of Red and Gold,
by Amy Newday

Because the night is wet and shining,
green frogs pluck their little banjos and the road crew pouring sky
black asphalt under floodlights backs up interminably,
orange and wet and dark and steaming. There’s an old dog dying
in the corner of my bedroom and a family of slugs crawling their gleaming
nightly pilgrimage down my hall, so why not look at it, why not
pull it out and put it on, red and gold, reversible
like a heart, why not admit I like it, it looks good, the loosely belted lace
rose resting just below my navel, my belly bare, silk and shining, the bolts of curving
moonlit cloth, why not say yes, I do, I love it, this world,
red and green and gold, how I’m always wanting to swallow it
through one mouth or another? Yes, this world, this Judas, kissing me
and calling the guards, how I fall for it again and again, night’s drum
and violin, the smoke and sheen of morning, everything slick
and oiled into rainbows, everything bubbled
and blistered and singing like a goldfinch
for his bagged mate; how the unwashed hands that caught her
now knock against my door. Not pretending to be unhaunted, not offering
a single silver ring. Red and gold, the threshold’s burning.
The bullfrogs are mooing and the whole night smells of tar.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 15, Issue 3.

Amy NewdayAmy Newday’s poems have appeared in journals such as Poetry EastRhinoNotre Dame ReviewCalyx, and Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment. She directs the Writing Center at Kalamazoo College and co-owns Harvest of Joy Farm LLC, a community-supported vegetable farm located near Shelbyville, Michigan.

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