Climb up to mount the beast—a whoosh upon the air, legs spread, landing to unite jeans upon a breathing boulder.
Dark brown flesh, dark midnight mane catching the sun’s shadows below strong muscles protruding, a leather saddle strapped around the thick body—a sucking fish on a whale.
Walk and feel the bond begin, brilliantly, so high up. Dependent on this beast to not kick to the stars—buck to the sky, but to allow my own timid muscles to be the leader and he the obey-er.
With a tap of my heels and squeeze of my thighs, we walk. A slow motion of limbs upon limbs. One step forward followed by the opposite hind leg. Right step, left step. Repeating as rain drops cruising upon a window.
With a two kicks of the heel of my boots and click of my tongue, he begins to trot. A bouncing motion, the smell of the leather flies off the saddle, as the mist of the sharp mountains presents itself in a thin cloud. The bells of shepherds’ sheep ring on in a distant green pasture.
A sudden burst of bravery—a lightning strike, a strong kick, a brilliant force of energy and a gallop begins. Waves upon giant waves of two bodies, man and beast become one being in a strong motion.
Air sweeps the face in brisk bursts, with the ocean waves rolling and rolling on. A dip, a rush up—repeat. Loose with the body. The straw black hair of my horse flies back, tail trailing, hooves clacking.
A loud neighing, and out of the corners of my eyes, two white horses in brilliant elegance run alongside in excitement as the stone mountains sing. Although distant is the wooden pasture, we gallop as a single herd until the electric fences bond their hooves. With a small grumble of pain they turn around and head back towards the stable. If only we could be united permanently—as wild beings living off the land, but it is not meant to be.
After some time our bodies tremble—we grow tired. Rain lightly pings, and the stench of the earth greets our heaving nostrils. A pull on the reins, and walk we must. One body, two hearts. Sweat upon the body shimmers, and we head to a nearby river. Mountain water slowly and easily rolls by.
With a heave and dismount we drink. Bees hum a song and frogs burp in our presence—as in the cold water, the fish smoothly fight the soft current.
I stare in the eyes of my other, of my strength—his deep brown eyes stare back.
What a powerful thing indeed.
Author: Hannah Seelman
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Photo: Author’s own.