Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: A Poem by Montgomery Maxton

White Horse of Conquest (1999-2002)

Papa in middle-age crisis—
we stare down this damn
Y2K, waiting for the
world 2 revel & glitch 0-0-0,
out here on this quiet estate
that’s guarded by the fence we spent
a summer posting and railing,
and now in this deep winter at
the end of the innocent world
the clock moans over with jubilee
and false comfort
because in this millennial hour
a time has been born
and soon the sky will burn blue into our memories
and you will crash into the breast of your mistress
while I’m left holding my
mother at the bottom of the staircase
and they are still pulling bodies parts from
the apple pit.

Red Horse of War (2003)

Uncut soldier boy
under the floorboards of
your parents roachy Kentucky house,
who knew the fates
would take you from this war
to the oil war in the sandland of Saddam.
Lover who took in my semen like water,
when I was seventeen I said
half of my generation will die from war
and the other half from AIDS.
I was no false prophet,
but goddamn, sweetheart,
you fated both.

Black Horse of Famine (2007-2008)

Anorexia at twenty-seven.
One hundred is a doomed number
when you hangs it on your homosexual bones:
double the headshakes.
All the beautiful men in the world
can’t save you
when pushing you
onto your back grunting
“damn, you have a fuckin’ big dick, baby”
and they’ll leave you come late morning,
where you wake,
on borrowed time,
hung-over, deflated, and starving.

Pale Horse of Death (2008—2010)

All of them went down gracefully,
these paternal old folks
in beds of peace
and in their last dream;
then on a sweet summer morning at thirty
death came for me.
In a spin I was down,
lover screaming on his knees,
and as the world fades to black
I cease to breathe.

© Montgomery Maxton

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