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Brittney Corrigan

En Plein Air

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Painter with horse-hair brush in a field of mustangs,
animal-bodied palette at hand: carmine red for sunset,

blush of cochineal insects plucked from prickly pear.
Sepia sky ombrés through cloud canvas to plain, cuttlefish

ink staining dusty hides, restless fetlocks that shift weight
in summer’s post-storm light. Bloom of tufted cirrus clouds

in an eggshell streak above the ridge. Mares’ manes fall
along muscled crests, cirri in bone black and mummy

brown. Nicker and brushstroke. Stamp and blend.
Ring of hooves and flanks in twilit hue. Dapple

grey and pinto, rush of wind through painter’s smock.
Blue roan, cremello, chestnut, buckskin. Painter’s skin

copper-red in the lengthening dusk. Fall of Tyrian purple
across muzzles and flanks, color crushed or milked

from murex snails—elongate, sea-salted shells sculptured
with spines—tinted by crepuscular light. Mirage of painter,

dream of horses, now dissipate into bluebunch, wheatgrass,
muhly, wild rye. Feral pigmentation in the prairie night.

Triolet for the Marine Biologist I Didn’t Become

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My land-limbs twined and woven in the deep
with bodies flippered, tentacled, and finned.
Remora-like, my heart’s barnacled keep.
My land-limbs twined and woven in the deep
among the upright whales, plumbed in their sleep.
Beside the walrus, seamed and thickly skinned.
My land-limbs twined and woven in the deep.
Geared body flippered, tentacled, and finned.

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