Horses in the corral
like the crowd around a bassinet. Horses
jockeying for a whinny’s-width of room at the trough
like condolers circling a hearse—a dervish
of snot and leather. The old
and the lame always eat
shit and swishing tails. The breech foals are just bitter
memories in their mother’s bellies. The brood mares
are still famished for silk bows and curlicue brushes
and someone to fuss over their manes. They balk
at the sound of studs
lusting in their stalls. Out in the pasture,
in the day’s slough, a salt lick melts
into mineral on the hand-me-down saucer
of a little boy’s tongue.

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Ian T. Hall was born and reared in Raven, Kentucky. He is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Tennessee, where he serves as the assistant poetry editor for Grist: A Journal of the Literary Arts. He has published poetry and fiction in Kentucky Monthly Magazine, The Louisville Review, Heartland Review, and Modern Mountain Magazine, among others.