Is it dark already?
By then, boys were afraid of horses and
the empty skins slung on branches, their
unsaddled backs broad as spindly mountain
ranges. Surely you’d just slide down both
sides at once until your brain, even your last
central hair shaft, was parted. But these were
less scary than the backs with saddles on,
saddles heavy as an Edwardian hospital contraption
that wrestles you to the fine bed and shiny as
the inside of a mouth, cracked as the skin of his
thumb from burning and twisting the ends of
rope, stinking of the animal and its uses.