Contents | November 2003
More on poetry from The Atlantic Monthly.
The Atlantic Monthly | November 2003
Hear the author read this poem (in RealAudio)
by Erica Funkhouser
In need of a journey,
I traveled all the way from the rose
to the potato
and kept going.
The mud was unbearable,
the wind a knife.
Not one bite to eat, not even
a cup of tea-stained water,
but at last I was on my way,
alive and alone.
In flat country, I dozed off.
When I awoke, a city
was rising from the grain
with its own onion-yellow moon.
It was then I remembered
feeding apples to horses in autumn,
how the horses tossed their heads back
to tumble the fruit against
their tilted teeth as they ground
the apples down.
Sprays of pink foam
flew from their mouths
and landed on me like garlands.
The sweet joy of slobber
is one I had forgotten,
and the joy of being nuzzled
by huge animals begging for more,
all their impatience
in their lips.
Erica Funkhouser's most recent collection of poems is Pursuit (2002). She teaches at MIT.
Copyright © 2003 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; November 2003; Journey; Volume 292, No. 4; 88.