Sarah JacobyIndoor Horses (watercolor, digital)

Like the bears before, one day the thaw drove horses
from timidity to wrangle through the door.
Like all horses they spoke a gravelly Spanish
we feigned to understand, nodding yes, of course,
rolling our eyes, as in OK sure, their manes
like close-ups of badly translated pastures. Wary,
we chewed our food real slow.
The lassos we left tacked. No call for rodeo
or sledding down the stairs, where horses roamed
like brushes with which to style our hair.
Beneath the house the grass grew back,
an in-grooming. When the moon came up, the horses
licked the sheen from knives and china;
they ate fish from the aquarium, faces multiplied
by bubbling. One made a manger of me
with his eyes. One dug stables of black water.
A mare grazed the armoire and disappeared, as all
things rub up and become one.
A foal mollified our mother, who called to ask,
‘Who’s that? Have you checked the Alps?’
She meant the taps; she dreaded dripping.
‘Turn off the Alps,’ she said, ‘you’ll wreck
the place,’ and the horses did just that.


Sarah J. Sloat