My little horse must think it queer.

But who cares what he thinks?

Listening to an animal might get me killed

look what happened to Walter.

And so I go on.

Not just with life in general

but with this particular day.

And I allow things to happen,

like the snow to come down,

like Tom Waits' Alice to create

a tiny stainless drain somewhere

in my core this morning.

And I dig out and put on

a very old pair of tennis shorts

that look like a dinner napkin.

And I step out into the yard

and kneel, and pet the studded radial,

like running a hand across an open field

of steel babies' teeth.

And I think about flogging him.

The horse!

I think about going back out there to find him.

And I think about Klaus Kinski.

What would Klaus Kinski do? I think

about how in theory the hammer

is never to hit the anvil.

I think about how a butterfly, if

permitted, will crawl neurotically

all over a soldier's face for half an hour.

The snow sifts down like so many blankets.

As I move out across the pasture

I think about this . . . and Kinski. And anvils.

I can't say I'm surprised to find

my little horse breathing a dent for himself

in the snow. Nor that the dent looks strangely

like a baby Jesus. A baby Jesus on his back,

sinking into the snow.


As I speed north up highway I91, passing Zortman on toward Malta, I

look out and see a lone donkey on the open plain. Mostly snow and pale

yellow tufts of grass poking up through snow. Now I see him, the 2nd

donkey, hundreds of yards off , coming along with his head down, ripping

tufts of yellow grass I'm guessing as he staggers about. I quickly rearrange

it all in my mind: I see them as two gay male Montana donkeys who

were previously alone before meeting up one day on the open plain. It

reminds me of a rancher one time. Something in the way this rancher's

mustache - the corners of his black mustache - how they curved down,

it - it reminded me of the pincers on a beetle. I'm speeding along. I don't

have time for any of this. I reach up and trace with my finger the word

special in the foggy part of the windshield above the dash.