Honestly, I can’t be bothered to find out
Whether there is already a poem
About how to draw a horse,
The words brushed sleek as the roan mare
You curried the summer you were fourteen
And horseshit was a perfume you sniffed
Eagerly as lilac, as bread broken open,
The linseed funk of a boy two years older,
His voice beyond breaking; his long lashes
Pretty as a forelock. Stables call for pen and ink
And a sure hand; you can use charcoal for a canter.
How to draw a horse– you’re thinking the horse
Stands for something else and it may,
They come standard in quartets for an apocalypse,
Well-matched, ready for a chaise and four
Like Bingley had, along with Netherfield
And Darcy’s impossible friendship, fronting
A dusty stagecoach in the Wild West. You listen
For hoofbeats similar to your systole
If you are not terrified, in a tizzy, falling in love
The way I fall down the stairs in my dreams, endless,
The fall through clouds on a gas giant, pocked Jupiter
Or Bespin, an asymptotic descent I cannot complete.
How to draw a horse:
Using your dominant hand,
Knowing the crest and the croup,
Still, breathless, tasting
The sweet green scent of masticated hay,
The antithesis of your adoration,
Knowing you will fail.
Daisy Bassen is a poet and practicing physician who graduated from Princeton University’s Creative Writing Program and completed her medical training at The University of Rochester and Brown. Her work has been published in Oberon, McSweeney’s, and [PANK] among other journals. She was the winner of the So to Speak 2019 Poetry Contest, the 2019 ILDS White Mice Contest and the 2020 Beullah Rose Poetry Prize. She was doubly nominated for the 2019 Best of the Net Anthology and for a 2019 and 2020 Pushcart Prize. She lives in Rhode Island with her family.