Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Horses unfurled

Then, heading back to the truck, Celia felt the sidewalk tremble. Cam sensed it, too, glancing at his feet, then up again at the road. At that moment, she saw them--horses, lathered, at a run, striking blue fire from macadam striped in double yellow. Sorrels and grullos, two bays, some paints, twelve altogether. They kept their pace as they raced down the center of the street. Two shoes flung clear, another sang a crack along the post-office window. Bunched muscles caught in plate glass, squares holding fractions of curves. Lights flicked from red to green, the few trucks on the road braking fast, elbows, heads, close to whole bodies hanging from windows, hats tilted back, drivers' mouths lively with curses. But the cars all stopped. To move was to hit or be hit. The horses unfurled like a crazed flag. Black manes, socked feet, blazes, separate horses in a way, but also not. The tail of one grazed the forelock of another, as if they were feathers, overlapping, enough to make a wing. They were flying, that intent of putting air between themselves and the road, between themselves and the earth.

--Charlotte Bacon, Split Estate

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