I have always loved large horses:
Shires, their fetlocks touching the ground like roots
a horse grown from four trees;
Belgians with rumps like pumpkins;
Percherons, Clydes, Morgans and hunters.
I stood behind two Percherons as they pulled
nine thousand poundsthree times their weight.
From the sled, the wall of their bodies was massive
as white dance-hall doors.
I stood beneath the chin of a Belgian mare,
not stooped in the tent-sides of jaw and neck,
the heat of her a shielded furnace.
The heavy horse, orange as pumpkins:
her jowls dinner plates, discus-hard,
her muzzle firm-lipped as a hand's grip,
her eyes black plums,
her ribs and flanks corded with muscles
thick as cottonwood roots,
supple with strength and life.
Stocky, solid, living stone,
the meat of her haunches thick as wet sand.
She tossed her tail to disturb a fly,
A coarse veil parted to reveal
the grey infinity of her vulva,
vivid as the first woman I saw naked,
her skin jeweled with shower water.
The culture of language is cruel.
It will not let me praise the beauty of large women;
Comparisons are funny; metaphors are mockery.
Say "large," and I conjure
A Pliocene Venus,
sagging with fertile grease,
an erotic water balloon.
And even the women they describe imagine
themselves thick ankled girls with
nice personalities and coarse oatmeal skin,
Understand, this is not a poem about fat.
Fat is unhealthy, not healthy in bodies or meat.
Fat is unnatural
fat predators would starve,
fat prey is eaten soonest;
Fat is domestic;
Fat is bovine,
the nature of pigs and cattle,
caged rabbits and birds.
Deer are not fat, nor elk or buffalo.
Eland, antelope big as horses,
wear no marbling of fat;
their meat is brown with
This is a poem about your stocky body,
not large, but solid as tree trunks,
robust with pumped muscle,
sturdy as Delphi columns,
firm and real as a Knidian Venus,
powerful as a bacchante, and as deadly in hunger.
This is a poem, my dear, about your butt:
The unnameable, globes round as moons,
stones clenched, live oak in repose.
This is a poem about your thighs and shoulders
kneading my love,
the peach-solid biceps and deltoids,
the leveraging cables in forearms and calves,
the turn of rope, root, and snake,
constricting against my struggle.
This is a poem about the walnut of muscle
at the bend of your jaw:
I kiss it; it becomes soft
between my lips and your bone.
This is a poem about the ride of passion,
both of us rider and ridden,
my hips engirdled with your strong grip,
your pelvis saddled against my groin,
your hands on my shoulders for balance.
This is a poem about the centaur we are,
the ride of love.
You are my hunter,
heavy gold hunter crossing the green,
rocking me in the saddle.
I am the hedge that walls you from the hunt;
I feel you coming, the thunder of urgent meat.
Rider and ridden, jumper and hedge.
I feel you.
Strike me, struggle, part me.
Take the prick of thorn in your flesh;
scream and cry
the ambiguities of love.
Break through; drive on at a gallop, ride down the prey.
Stand table-solid beneath my ramping love.