NYC Poetry Magazine –

"Cow is Not a Horse" by Joshua Fesi


Title image shows a nightime view of a lit up bridge over a river and lit up buildings in the background.

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Published September 1st, 2023

Cow Is Not a Horse

by Joshua Fesi
(Brooklyn, New York, United States)

The cows were massive, yes.
They lumbered drowsy, slow,
bent down to lick with tongue
rude mess of corn below,
with heads, rust brown in sun,
five times as round as gourds
grown soft beside the barn.
Yet cows are cows, and these,
though massive, slow, stayed not
my tongue from fixing sounds
to words, or words to sense
as sun descended sky.

But cow is not a horse,
if horse it can be called –
the sole black horse that stood,
as blackest hole devours,
beneath the gate to greet
us both as I stepped close.
Yes, other horses stirred
behind, all black in coat,
but could such horse remain
while this one horse, jet black
and deep as night, stood by?
No, nothing there did breathe
but for the fixed intent
of those his piercing eyes,
his eyes which gazed headlong
into the twilight sky.

Joshua Fesi is a queer writer, educator, and artist, born in Philadelphia and currently living in Brooklyn. He teaches at Rutgers University.

This poem is included in Poetry World #7, published in the Wax Poetry and Art Library.

Previously published in NYC Poetry Magazine:

by Guohua Li

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