Black-Faced Impala by Kristi Maxwell

a beautiful outlaw

Quoth Quorn: you roost, you rot, no nut, you,
no worst wurst, no hog guts, snouts—
stow your juju, your runt joy.
Our story grows. Our stunt gown turns
us to hon (not Huns). Soon, your sworn trust shows rust—
won’t go on, just shrugs. You won—jury struts out,
two north, two south, two Johns.
Truth: gusts tour your town, turn soy to rugs.
Not truth: you sought now.
Shoot, your worth grows horns
hunts shun. No toy guns shout, no not-toy guns
short sons. Your hurts nosh your sun.
Your noon got shut. Tut, tut. Noon’s thy tooth.
Too, you shoo snooty shoguns to snow. Wow, you.
Who hunts who? Your toon ruins your show,
no Zorro, no thug or goon. To sort now your zoo.


Kristi Maxwell is the author of six books of poems, including Bright and Hurtless (Ahsahta Press, 2018). Her recent work appears in Bennington Review, Black Warrior Review, and Boston Review. She is an assistant professor of English at the University of Louisville.