Two Horses Grazing

by Hannah Beilenson

A wooden fence stacked at an angle.
The grass tamped down. Passing flies
flicked away by the pulling up
of the horses’ hind legs, their metal
hooves caked in mud. And though
there’s thunder in the distance,
the air here is calm. Two horses
grazing. Their manes a little long.
And between them a girl, sprawled
out on the lawn. Her gathered skirt
orange and blue. Her hair in a braid.
The horses are tame, and the cotton
of her skirt, bunched between her legs.
A static in the air not quite enough
to spook. The girl’s socks stained with grass.
Clouds, huddled above the plain,
the sky, hung like tempered glass—
so doesn’t the girl expect rain?
The horses’ lips curl all the way back.
Where is her coat? Her plastic hat?
Look: two horses grazing, their tongues
slipping out, the wind a growing rustle,
the girl’s mouth shut. A shudder in the grass,
her face a little flushed, and rain coming closer,
threatening a flood. Sweat on her forehead
like a sudden drop. And in waves of silence,
breath starts and stops. Thunder somewhere
distant, the drum of it a taunt, and two horses
grazing, their faces in the lawn. The girl
sprawled out, wanting it to happen.
Air, a heavy hand over all of them.
And coming regardless, the storm, all of it.

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