​S O M E T I M E S   A   H O R S E 

​becomes a man
           and that man becomes a magician

as if to take control of his transformation
            He cuts a woman in half 

 with a phony saw that curls 
            like a question mark

Is this how we become less he asks 
          as her waist widens to a breath-filled

gap Is this how we become more he asks
          as he clasps the woman back together

Sometimes you fall in love with a man
          who becomes a horse

Do you ask for a muzzle?
             Do you ask to become 

more muscled and more likely
           to follow the horse in front of you?

Your children will walk early
          and say nothing of a stone

in their hoof
            You might

Sometimes you cease to be a horse
            your will breaking into two

distinct bellyaching streams
          He takes the hill as planned

and you bipedal off 
           weary and thin-skinned

aware of the toppling quality
             of your spine

and the soft hollow 
           of your stomach 

​​H E R M E N E U T I C   C H A O S   J O U R N A L

The Jane Lumley Prize '15 : Honorable Mention

     M E R E D I T H   M c D O N O U G H

Meredith McDonough lives and works in St. Louis, MO. Her poems have appeared in Arcana: The Tarot Poetry Anthology, Linebreak, RHINO, Juked, Bone Bouquet, and elsewhere. She is a graduate of the Creative Writing MFA program at Florida State University.