To hear the poet read "Revenant," click here.
Palomino, horse of shadows.
Pale of the gyrfalcon
the dark climbing out a crack in the earth.
Black veils starched for Easter.
The black hood of the condemned,
reeking with slobber.
The no color behind the eyelid
as the ax drops.
Gauze bandages over the wounds of State.
The canvas is primed, the morning
bitten off but too much to chew.
No angels here:
The last one slipped the room
while your head was turned,
made off for the winter streets.
Former U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Rita Dove received the 2011 National Medal of Arts from President Obama. Her latest book publications are Sonata Mulattica and The Penguin Anthology of 20th-Century American Poetry.