WHAT I KNOW ABOUT HORSES
They're measured in hands,
which is not that different
from that dark assessment
I conduct nightly, if lucky:
my one hand spanning
between breast and breast,
covered over with the softest
salt and pepper hair
and sweat, the summer's doing
(or mine). One hand,
moving over stubble
and full bottom lip. Yes,
this is a one-handed kiss
that misses nothing. This,
a hand bandage around the bicep,
with its ink gone green with age: caduceus,
a skin oath. Do no harm
I and your tattoo say. Let me
be the nurse this night, release
what hurt I can find by inching
where I know you best
in my own tall way. Let me
offer pleasure as its own sort
of whisper, or gauzy
as the curtains billowing. Let me
with this hand let in night,
dry hillsides, and apples scattered.
They've gone to alcohol.
In sun, there was the buzz of bees
drunk on that sweetness. And now
sugar is on the soft lips of the horse who lives.
He lowers his head to windfall and I, to mine.
We all glow white as the backbone
we found at property's edge--a puzzle
of femur, hip, and head, all resting on a bed
made bare by want. You said scavengers
and left me with the skull's weight
still in my hands.