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The Ride

[Author’s note: “Memory of a reunion after our first separation.” —Ed.]

That night in June. The hilltop, the gliding moon, the riding crop.

The horses’ tethers taut where they’d been tied. The wine we’d brought to liven up the ride.

Her kneecap slightly bruised— “Let me massage that.” How lightly she refused. Her black dressage hat,

shadbelly, vest. The view: the valley, the village. Wine on her buttoned breast in sudden spillage

and the spill mopped by my hand’s soft brush. My blush. The hill topped with a moss like plush.

My face in it. Her body on my back, stripped bare in one split second. The whip crack.

Her gartered thighs, her clipped commands, my muffled cries, her white-gloved hands,

the quirt the crop the hurt “Don’t stop—”

Clouds torn apart as if by chariots. Raw dawn. A heart like Secretariat’s.

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