KR OnlinePoetry

Sacred and Profane Love

Our overnight train was outpacing
the countryside, the speed at which it moved flattening the grass,
                                                                                  while, in our sleeper car,
he jerked my shirt back up over my shoulders, and I bit
the white cotton.

The stiff blankets loosening, the shadows loosening.
Dawn outrunning the edges of the drawn shade.

Morning, the clothes flattened with our hands, the suitcase zipped.
A short walk to the stone house, to the oak trees, the stables

where the Lipizzaner stallions were kept,
where the riders pushed the horses to perfection in straightness,
                                                                                  contact, and impulsion,
and in their dark compartments, the young,
the celebrated, were changing from gray to white.

Richie Hofmann is the author of Second Empire (Alice James Books, 2015), winner of the Beatrice Hawley Award. A 2012 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellow, he is currently a doctoral student at Emory University.