Bénédicte Gelé, Regard XIX (Artist Website, Etsy)
Watercolor on paper


The inevitable violence of horse care is daunting. I skip over operations and infected body parts. In doing so, I fail to read the book, except the entries I can stomach.

Death or any aspect of madness that can be predictably timed is unnerving. As with horses succumbing specifically at two or three in the afternoon to sunstroke. As with sundowners in retirement communities becoming agitated and confused.

Swimming the horse (letting the horse swim?) is common treatment for dislocation of the shoulder. I had not considered swimming as a way to reassemble one’s own parts. A wish to swim, a wish to get oneself back in working order. I call a local pool; day passes cost $12.

In the town of Horseheads, there is a state fair with horse shows, a petting zoo, rides and a fishing game with plastic, child-sized fishing poles. The local Ames and other stores are vacant; I wonder aloud who will buy Horseheads and put commerce back in it again, as if it is only a matter of time.


Michelle Meier