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[What They Get Us, So Easily, to Do]
Words by: Devon Balwit
Whip-smart, the Lipizzaner dances
heaviness on hind-hooves, flared mane
feigning joy to what music’s chosen.
Bred for this, still, deep in its genes,
it wishes for wider wildness, the once
of the unfenced herd. I toss my own
corded neck, stutter-step in place.
Was a time I didn’t lift my muzzle
for bribes, when I thundered
from the outstretched hand, away.
Is it love, this leaning against
the one wielding the crop? Say it is--
the best kind of submission. I prance
full circle, leaping from the bit between.
I feel the nudge of knees and know
what I’m to do. After the doing, comes
the pat. I have it down.
How flesh responds to the currycomb,
the taste buds to grass, barley, oats.
Prideful, I want to disdain, but the mouth
wells spit, the head sinks over the full belly.
No grumbling of revolt, just the working
of the gut, a harmless peristalsis.