This horse covers the ground more quietly
on four hooves than my old feet can manage,
dynamic strides so I stretch to keep up.
Awareness pulses in his ears and nostrils,
that’s character carved in his jaw and if
the sun is setting just right, you can look
into his eye and see the universe lie flat
and small at the left edge of his heart. I’m
only a bit embarrassed to admit that I time
my breath so I can take in his spent exhale.
I’m six times his age. It seems the sharper
his profile, the more mine loses definition.
My cheeks are abraded flat with fruitless
emotion and the prairie wind has turned
my ears to gristle like the old donkey’s.
The corners of my mouth have stretched
from screaming at the moon and my eyelids
have gradually swollen to protect my eyes
from sights that hurt them. Six times his age,
using his breath, trailing safe in his stride.