after Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill’s The Water Horse
I fell in love with a man who was a horse,
his round eyes you could drop stones into.
His tense knees I rubbed with ointment
until they softened like dough at my fingers.
His nose was ring-less, though my three ear studs
glistened like a constellation of silence above him,
and he left my newspapers coffee-ringed
and unfolded on my sofas, though I hardly noticed.
One night, he bolted, back door swinging on its hinges,
and in the wet street left no traces
but his horseshoes like rain charms on the tarmac
shodden now on my walls, hot as soldering irons
scorching the distance between us in hoofprints
as endlessly he fails to wake me.