Think of anatomy as a refuge,
palpable, certain.
Finding a precise alignment
to convey a path to the heart.

Consider the curve
of the slender gracilis muscle,
like an unfurled ribbon
crossing the inner hip and knee.

An artifact of evolution,
gracilis runs in a straight line
in bent-knee quadrupeds.
When humans stood upright,
and our knees extended,
gracilis, bound by fascia,
stayed behind.

Guided by its rider,
the horse gathers up speed
and leaps with a power
beyond human measure.

Horse and rider in perfect union,
loose and completely relaxed,
like a child connected to its mother
before its first breath.

*Losgelassenheit—a German word, literally, the quality of having loosened and let go, conveying a union of horse and rider.

Photo Credit: Steve Byrne’s Photos Flickr via Compfight cc

Anne Whitehouse

Anne Whitehouse is the author of six poetry collections, most recently Meteor Shower (Dos Madres Press, 2016). She has also written a novel, Fall Love, which is now available in Spanish translation as Amigos y amantes by Compton Press. Recent honors include: 2018 Prize Americana for Prose, 2017 Adelaide Literary Award in Fiction, 2016 Songs of Eretz Poetry Prize, 2016 Common Good Books’ Poems of Gratitude Contest, 2016 RhymeOn! Poetry Prize, 2016 F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum Poetry Prize. She lives in New York City. www.annewhitehouse.com

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