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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 9: August 2021
Poem: 127 words
By Brian Rihlmann

This Heavy Hollow

I think of that cranky old mare 
who bit my shoulder at 15 
the giant tumor on her foreleg 
the size of a human head 
I wondered how 
she even walked around 
with that thing 
though it didn’t seem 
to affect her gait 
nor did the other horses 
shun her any 
but this...this lack 
this hollow 
has no dimensions 
and no weight 
yet it makes me 
turn my back on myself 
keeps me locked in a room 
some days 
feels heavy 
as a hoof on my chest 
prevents me from 
lifting a hand to type 
thank you 
or even a finger 
to flick a meaningless heart 
a pretend smile 
to anyone who needs 
a little kindness 
to anyone who dares 
show me any 


Brian Rihlmann
Issue 9, August 2021

lives and writes free verse poetry in Reno, Nevada. His work has appeared in many magazines, including The Rye Whiskey Review, The American Journal of Poetry, The Blue Nib, Cajun Mutt Press, Fearless, Heroin Love Songs, Chiron Review, Slipstream, and The Main Street Rag. His latest poetry collection, Night At My Throat, was published in 2020 by Pony One Dog Press.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Three Poems by Rihlmann in Cultural Daily (21 October 2020)

Book Review/Interview: Brian Rihlmann, Ordinary Trauma (Alien Buddha Press, 2019) by George Anderson in Bold Monkey Review (16 March 2020)

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