Transparent Horse (I)
Equine anatomy fills the room,
a muzzle at the edge of the rug,
its pastern between the coronet and fetlock,
you are happy it is evening.
The cannon bone is spectacular and sharp,
and I hold the left one
to the light. I like the stifle and so
I give it to you. The hoof, upside down
shows clearly the frog–the triangular area underside.
We turn him to see the gaskin, between
the hock and the stifle.
We place the wither and the neck
like logs near the box it came in.
You tell me about the check ligaments,
a system that lock in position, allowing standing-up
sleep. The belly and the barrel need
the joints before we can go on.
I press my finger to the poll at the skull, slightly behind
where ears would go if they were included.
You cross the room with the tail in your hand.
Julia Johnson is author of Naming the Afternoon from LSU Press. Her new book, The Falling Horse, will be published in fall 2011 by Factory Hollow Press.