Star Black



After dusks in Arlington, when the hindquarters
of black horses bearing reversed saddles disappear
into crisp stables to be tended with the utmost care,
war medals, like bottle caps, pop into the air

and hover above the graves like ribboned gnats,
gone out of the dust in a nocturnal fuss to twitch there,
as if the sky were a wishing well with lots of loose pennies
in it and not one "come true" to settle them down.

The gates and parking lots, vacant as a nose
upon a skull, are closed, the remembering relatives back
at motels watching news commentators in-the-know

make reverent, stern commitments, the medals
a-bobble in whirligig fits, in mini-swoons and pirouettes,
above the once-slow breathers who took the last hit.



Star Black is the author of five books of poems, the most recent a collection of sonnets entitled Ghostwood (Melville House, 2003). Her poems have been anthologized in The Penguin Book of the Sonnet and 110 Stories: New York Writes After September 11. An exhibition of her visual art, "A Poet's Eye for Collage," was shown at Poet's House in 2005.


Published in Volume 7, Number 3, Summer 2006.