Francine Conley

Who Are You?

I am in something like sleep
inside a borrowed room
and I wake to a field
outside my window
where a horse appears
grazing on prairie grass,
brown muscles
in spools of sun.
He doesn’t notice me
as he moves,
hooves hesitating
on an uneven ground,
tearing grasses with his lips
and folding them into
his mouth, chewing
every blade to mush,
and swallowing.
I am present
in such moving things:
in two swallows flying above
and around the horse:
in the sky’s spoil
of clouds.  Then,
briefly blinded
by the sun I look
and the horse
is gone. I do not love
my loneliness.
Forget who
I am: what I’ve
always wanted:
to discard
and diminish
the past—to be

Francine Conley is a poet, performer, and director.  She has a chapbook of poems, How Dumb the Stars through Parallel Press (2001). Published or forthcoming pieces in Paris-Atlantic, Star 82 Review, Hartskill Review, and Avatar Review, among others.  She holds an M.F.A. in poetry from Warren Wilson College.