Robert Beveridge | The Horse You Rode In On and other poems


A slight chill in the air today
as we walk hand in hand
down the green hill
to Monks Point.
I pull my jacket tight.
We stroll down the path,
see children turn somersaults
on neat grass.
Mothers sit on the rocks,
applaud. One lady,
close to middle age,
smiles at us as if
to say “I remember
love at nineteen.”

A slight chill in the air today
as a lone robin chirps
in a cloudless sky.
The fog’s in low
around the wooden planks
of Monk’s Point.
We stand at the edge
of the dock, you
lean over the rail
and look into the ocean’s
expanse. I
stroke the golden band
you slipped around
my finger five years
ago today. You swivel
as if connected
to the post. My arms
around your shoulders,
your smile against
my lips.

A slight chill in the air today
As we rest on the rocks
at the top of the Monk’s Point hill.
My arms around
your shoulders. Our son
leaps, lands, lies
on the ground, plays
with others like him
on the still-neat grass.
A boy, about nineteen,
ambles down the path,
hand in hand with a short blonde,
listens to her cheerful
banter about the beauty
of Monk’s Point in June
or July, when the sun
splashes the water just so.
I hold you tight and ask
if you remember. You
smile and say you
don’t need to.



How things balance, waver, betray
themselves when caged. How wind
and water combine to breathe
existence into all that moves, all
that matters, all that is. How
pressure takes a lump and makes
it another lump, one infinitely
more precious. How one bed is
identical to another in the store
but becomes so personal at home.
How lip and tooth and tongue
can be instruments of torture
or instruments of healing. How gems
on collar and cuffs shine brighter
reflected in your eyes. How intimacy
is breath and copper and musk
and rope and skin and Elysium.



No woman is ever satisfied
with her body, whatever contrary
protestations from others of either sex.
But your lips charm snakes, tongue persuades
lemurs, elephants, swans to emerge
from the trees to worship at your feet.
From behind, your curves are Botticelli’s,
a primavera ripe for the harvest.

Most women are cagey about age; you
your birthday. How old matters far less,
it seems, than when old. Neither butterflies nor lovers
give a whit about cycles of the planet; our year,
after all, is one and five-eighths times longer
than that of Venus. And if a horse
were to circumnavigate the globe—a hybrid,
perhaps, of horse and basilisk—it would
be far easier on a planet ridged with black
clouds of lace, ruffles, chiffon
and, most likely, far more enjoyable. And in the end,
satisfied with the journey as she may be,
she still decries the hilly surface,
the supposed irregularities that make the trip
endlessly fascinating.

Robert Beveridge (he/him) makes noise ( and writes poetry in Akron, OH. Recent/upcoming appearances include New American Legends, Toho Journal, and Chiron Review, among others.

Photo credit: Chris Neumann for

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