Horse's Adventure

The horse discovered a gateway to another 
dimension, and with nothing else to do, moseyed 
into it just for grins, and man, you 
don’t even want to know what happened 
next—it was just, like, Horse at the French 
Revolution. Horse in Franco’s living room. 
Horse on the moon. Horse in a supporting role 
in an episode of ER. Horse being shot 
out of a cannon. Horse on The Price Is Right. 
Horse in a Whitesnake video. Horse 
at Kennedy’s assassination. Horse in the Tet 
Offensive. Horse at the Gap gawking at some 
khaki pants. Horse in Julie Piepmeyer’s 
bathroom. Horse being tossed out of an airplane 
with a parachute strapped to its back, plummeting 
toward Nebraska. Horse on Capitol Hill  
(Yes, I’d like the floor to recognize 
the distinguished horse from Arizona). Horse 
on the subway. Horse authorizing a peace treaty 
between the U.S. and Iraq. Horse 
in the Evansville State Hospital. Horse caught up 
in a White Hen robbery. Horse in the Kentucky 
Derby. Horse staring at the merry-go-round 
at King’s Island in Cincinnati, Ohio. 
The list goes on and on. And so goes 
the horse’s adventure, where one minute 
it’s standing next to Pat Sajak and with a violent 
flash like that of a murderous camera or the twirling 
screen and music of a Batman episode 
it’s standing in the middle of US-23 
with a screaming motorist speeding toward it. 
And this horse, whirling through dimension 
after dimension, spiraling carmines, suicidal 
jasmines, and mathematical theorems tornadoing 
past it, being placed in situation 
after situation—what had it learned 
when all was said and done and it was back 
at Tom Wallace’s farm? Nothing is better 
than Rachel Wallace while they stand in the barn 
in the middle of February and she draws pictures of it 
to take to school tomorrow.

Healthy Smiths

Every few months my friend and I get together
to talk about “what we’re doing” vis-à-vis
“the perceived goal of our dual attempt
to become masters of wordsmithing
in the face of insurmountable opposition.”
This is what I’m doing, we say,
compared to this person we don’t know
who does something similar
and is wildly more successful than us.
Powdered lips and lip powder
are quite the opposite
to anyone who’s ever powdered their lips
or shaved flakes off of their lips
in that great and violent kitchen of our beings.
Is it true, we wonder. Are our life-fates locked
aside from random pratfall, victim
of crime or illness? In twenty years
you’ll look back at this moment and go,
“whoa, weird,” but you’ll feel the same way
you feel now as you stare into the crisp,
dark city and say to yourself,
“whoa, weird.” I’m just trying
to get through this like the rest of us,
you used to think, with dextrose, maltodextrin,
malic acid, calcium stearate, carnauba wax,
blue 2, red 40, yellow 5,
less than 2% corn syrup and possibly egg
on my tongue. Who knows what could happen
to my lips. They could be powdered, shaved,
or ripped completely off my face
in one, impressive motion.