Iowa Writes

DEBORA KUAN
Pastoral


A hobby-horse appeals—
This is our wooden meadow, nest-stolen calves,
and our painter Chao, painting from winter, gets her red
cap bitten off. Ahead,
a color monthed. Ahead, the start of storing.
My one dumb eye is a hungry eye,
it pushes sheep through it.
Needle and bundle and the start of
flowered dresses. Lin has potted smooth stones in white soil,
and now they have sprouted selves.

Is this anything to paint with?
I have magnetized pearl buttons to other pearl buttons.
I have waited for any bird to call on me.

And for any constellation. And for any flayed forest.

A hobby-horse appeal—
This is our wooden meadow, nest-stolen calves,
and our painter Chao, painting from winter, gets her red
cap bitten off. Ahead,
a color monthed. Ahead, the start of storing.
My one dumb eye is a hungry eye,
it pushes sheep through it.
Needle and bundle and the start of
flowered dresses. Lin has potted smooth stones in white soil,
and now they have sprouted selves.

Is this anything to paint with?
I have magnetized pearl buttons to other pearl buttons.
I have waited for any bird to call on me.

And for any constellation. And for any flayed forest.

When I return, even the foxes are white.
They have grass on their backs, which is also
snowed. No one remarks.
I have to lie still until
some life kisses me. Until some animal rotates
himself and settles down in ache.
In surrendered awe and curios.

This is a cut glass collection.
And a cabinet of grass.
A statue made of milk and laid on its side.
Chao says pony. Lin offers cervix,
matrix, wire
. But we have landed on silo.
We are thinking of shapes for ourselves.

And ahead, we can see it,
an x-ray and a child. One tremendous head
and a body in bone.
I cannot help thinking,
A hood pulled over our horse's head to keep it asleep.
And we wait, we wait,
chewing wool to perfection—

To shepherd. To pause. Where things begin grazing.
This is some silo for storing. This is some green.

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About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


DEBORA KUAN

Debora Kuan earned an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her writing has appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Boston Review, Conduit, Fence, Indiana Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Princeton, NJ, again after a seven-year hiatus.

This page was first displayed
on January 27, 2007

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