[Issue 3 / November 2012]

You feel the cold in April
Uncompromising as a deadline
You’d nearly forgotten. The coat
Already mothballed. Premature
As the desire to interpret
The dream your lover must be having
His back turned and his breath coming fast
As headlights in fog, the sort of danger
You think you want until the crash.
You expect April to caress you
Your lover turns his back
The wind out of the east is raw
Spitting bits of ice.
The flats of flowers in the market lot
Blacken. The chill tongues your sinews.
Your lover dreams of a woman in white
He tosses, turns like the bitter currents of April.
The disappointed lovers turn religious
Brandishing their palm sprays on a bleak
Sunday. What else is April for
But transitions. Bread to flesh.Wine to blood. The body
Wants what it wants. April
The sign of war, the grey horse of perdition
The lilacs recalling abandoned homesteads.


Joan Colby has published widely in journals such as Poetry, Atlanta
Review, South Dakota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, New York Quarterly,
the new renaissance, Grand Street, Epoch, and Prairie Schooner.. Awards
include two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards, Rhino Poetry Award, the new
renaissance Award for Poetry, and an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship in
Literature. She was a finalist in the GSU Poetry Contest (2007), , Nimrod
International Pablo Neruda Prize (2009, 2012), and received honorable mentions
in the North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Contest (2008, 2010).
She is the editor of Illinois Racing News,and lives on a small horse farm in
Northern Illinois. She has published 10 books including The Lonely Hearts
Killers, The Atrocity Book and her newest book, just out from Future Cycle
Press—“Dead Horses.”