Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Riding Gear

spurs, the illegal kind, with silver spangles and sharp
points turning and flashing, like the stars kiss his ribs

and come back red-faced, blood on a black coat looks
like streaks of sweat, the bit bites into the corners

of his mouth, polka-dot sores bloom like marigolds,
froth spatters his dark chest, his mane grows wet

and twists in the heat, all sheen gone, the girth
rides back along his lesser ribs, the martingale keeps

his head tucked down so he runs with a stutter,
his hooves flair out, leads with his left, the cheekpiece

is loose, the saddle slipping, on the last fence he tips
the top rail, red and blue, ribbons flutter from his tail,

the whip stings his belly, the soft part, where it lightens
to the color of dusk, reflected in a rearview mirror



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