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Bareback.

Once I was afraid of a huge glimmering horse in a strange and smelly stable, the snorting, head-shaking beast that they said could kick my head in, that saw me as much bigger than I was so watch how I approached its head. They made me pet its sleek nose, soft and dirty, as its heavy, heavy hooves crushed the soil.

I had to ride it, finally, and it was easier than I'd thought, as if we'd been born together, so fluid and taut the joint of my split legs over its back, following the woman's hair that waved like a flag, who'd promised that the sensation of a flat out gallop would be like flying. Did you feel it, she asked? Then we were beautiful to each other, we didn't know

how that whole day would later float in the air like a vignette photograph, a story without edges bobbing through life, disconnected, looked at as if through a horse's eyes, with a horse's longing to kick and gallop.
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Author:Swift, Doug
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Date:Mar 1, 1993
Words:170
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