Issue > Poetry
Leona Sevick

Leona Sevick

Leona Sevick is the 2017 Press 53 Poetry Award Winner for Lion Brothers, her first collection. Her poems appear in The Journal, Crab Orchard Review, The Arkansas International, The Southeast Review, and The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks. Sevick was named a 2019 Walter E. Dakin Fellow for the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. She is provost and professor of English at Bridgewater College.

Steady Girl

They say the best ones stay forever,
no matter how skittish, how wild-eyed
and restless their stall mates, the horses
they're meant to calm. Entering
the pen, the goats draw out
the twitching dark poison, work
quietly to free mile after mile
of glistening horsehide
from the hard tug of fear and longing,
the animal need to run in all directions
at once, to be nowhere and to be
everywhere in the world. See
the short gait that never matches
long strides, the strange rectangular
pupils, bright sideways slits
soothing these hot beasts
quivering with singular talents.
When she leaves you, remember
it's no one's fault. No love will
ever hold her, no devotion
will be nearly enough.

End of Days

Honey, this shouldn't be hard.
You've been weighing
this question for months,
twisting over it. Just picture
the end of days, horses
of every color: white, fiery
red, black and the pale
one that death straddles
with real pleasure. Now look how
the other riders drive them,
the sword-wielding lot
that won't scruple earthquakes,
blackened sun, the bloodied moon
like stains on your favorite
linen sheets. Look there—
the mountains and islands
forced from their original
foundations, those fat cats and
their no good brethren
smashed to pieces. It is
the rapture of the bride
upon you, the trumpet call
dragging you toward
oblivion. There remains
just this single question: whose
face do you see in those last
moments? The second
you walk through that cloudy
veil, whose hand are you
holding? No. Clawing.


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