One Horse Town

and so what

if—disowned—this hometown


named after some other town &

spidered by streets named for

trees you’ve never seen


sounds like fire, now. like


flint spark plume. smother. escape. trying

to erase your name from the too-narrow

-one-lane entrance with your heel.



you’ve repeated to the morning mirror

—the thread. the past. the apples

that gripped your baby teeth, still

raining down.


in the garage, upside-down,

your old bicycle, wheels spinning along

an open road of air.


everything but your bones

a trespass. and your bones, too.

the map in your palm. and the flame.


and that one missing shingle,

all the unpainted interiors,

and the bones interred

a week before your return


and, finally, your return.


the rain, and moving through

the rain that same horse

you named after a king

who saw home even in

the furthest edges of the world


nuzzles up to the mound

as if smelling you in it.

Copyright © 1999 – 2023 Juked