Sometimes the horse is simply a horse.
Sometimes the horse is a stalwart
bearer of bodies.
Sometimes the horse is stubborn,
refusing to ford the river,
or the horse is a mistake
in the vapor, what looks like a horse
emerging out of a thrust
of fog on Telegraph Avenue.
There’s the perpetual feeling of being
overdressed for summer
and underdressed for spring.
I’m variously sweat or shudder.
I mistake the strange bodies
for those I owe apologies to,
oversleep and open my eyes on
the clock radio, the time a typo,
the apartment a disaster.
Sometimes the horse is a disaster
or the horse is time in a trot or a canter.
Sometimes the horse is a boy
growing in time into a man
who often laments,
A horse, a horse, my kingdom, etc.
But there is no horse.
There are two days good and one day bad
without any hint of a horse.
Sometimes speaking about the horse
is a means of avoiding speaking
about myself which is lousy.
Late last night myself
regarding another carelessly.
Late last night my body
with a temporary body.
The horse is the taut metaphor for sex,
but sometimes the horse is the taut silence after.
Sometimes the horse is the silence
after her body rises
in the embarrassment of morning
and this silence is filled
with less than remorse
but with more than indifference.
This is a feeling there is no word for.
What I decided in place of what I needed.
I should eat better.
I should vacuum more often.
I should settle down
and raise a young horse.
Sometimes the horse is unspoken,
the horse is this feeling
that will be forgotten,
is the self unable to alter its ineffable horse.
Late last night, a pervasive clopping
of the horse on the hill.
Late last night, the horse as a foghorn
over the Bay.
I should be rained on.
I should not be forgiven.
Jaswinder Bolina, “Portrait of the Horse” from Phantom Camera
. Copyright © 2013 by Jaswinder Bolina. Reprinted by permission of New Issues Press.
Source: Phantom Camera(New Issues Press, 2013)
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