When I Hear “Horses” as “Corsets”
I imagine the great tethered body of my grandmother
galloping through tawny fields
beneath the last flame of a Western sun
and admire the poet,
who I think is decrying the corset
for not being as fine or as real
as the form that moves beneath.
More and more these days
my eyes and ears collude
to make the world
more as I want it. I like this place,
where a team of corsets bends now
to drink from the river
and cool their sweat-lathered, satiny skins.
When I catch on at last,
the poet is nuzzling the neck of a real horse
and pulls back its thick, equine lips
and fogs her hand with grainy breath.
How magnificent, I think,
to nuzzle instead a corset, to curl
once more against my grandmother
and take in the powdery exhalations of her body,
run my fingertips across the bony spine
of the hook and eye seam,
press my cheek to the steely stays.
Hers is not a corset I will saddle and ride away,
and it might not take an apple from my hand,
but I’ll fasten my small cart to it anyway.
Amanda Moore is a high school English teacher in San Francisco, where she lives with her husband and daughter. She received an MFA in Poetry from Cornell University, where she worked as Managing Editor at EPOCH magazine. She has recently published poems in ZYZZYVA, Tahoma Literary Review, Potomoc Review, and Sequestrum, along with anthologies such as Best New Poets, A Generation Defining Itself, and Mamas and Papas: On The Sublime and Heartbreaking Art of Parenting.