My family and I spent two weeks in Italy earlier this year. Unfortunately, the carriage horse industry is alive and well in Rome and Florence. My heart and gut twisted in sadness seeing these beautiful horses clopping around the cities with tourists in tow. I wanted to approach them with apples and sugar cubes and carrots, remove the blinders and harnesses from their bodies and set them loose, set them free and galloping towards any green. They looked so numb, so weary. They deserve better.
You cannot look at Roma
and call her a wolf,
call her a splendor,
not when the horses look sad.
Her twins are gilt and guilt,
no milk left to suckle another god.
Both keys are blind, weeping.
No wonder the horses look sad.
Sabine and true Roma girls dancing, preserved in ecstasy —
I would shield them with all the maps of the worlds
so they might never be found by men,
so the horses no longer look sad.
What clouds her paws and teats?
What clouds her prophecy?
She creeps, she grimes, she lows,
but the horses still look sad.
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