Kochman

Exercises in Energy

Laura Kochman

Several legs together bend pressure against the sand, brown hair a ground cover against the leg mostly bone, a hard long object. A group together. Out of control, the sand bank, building up. When a thing is repeated does it gain energy? Am I hearing the hoofbeats right, the rhythm in threes and where is the fourth leg? A force becomes a mystery. The gravity of so many legs together, the gravity of a low-slung belly rising potential tucked up concave over the hard poles a bascule behind us the jump with its legs crossed, casual. The following sections provide more detail.
 
 
 
 
Where a horse
 
                                                is not a constant             we cannot
 
                 assume our terms
 
                                                     we know the wood to be brittle
 
                                                     we know the paint to flake
 

                          the sand may swallow us between its grains
 

Where sand
 
                                                is not a constant
 
                 the force acts                 on the object             the object
 
                                                     becomes the force
 
            with which we hold
 
                                                     ourselves together
 

Using the equation the equidistant the equine reason a mind reader is the specialty I become, the anxious hoof. There is nowhere to go but into the soft wood of the wall who knows it might be soft at least we’ll stop. We gather ourselves together. We accept the end of our trip, the slack and heavy lines. The following sections provide more detail.
            
            
            
            
A flying force contains
 
                                                less potential energy than
 
a running force
 
                          contains
 
                                                     less than a riding
 
force where the equation has six variables. One:                 the gravitational
 
 
            field. Two: the grass
 
                                                     is wet. Three: I am at the end
 
of my tether. Four: becomes the wooden board
 
                          balanced on the other wooden board.
 
Five: the backside
 
                                                of every grain of sand
 
                                                                                            is sore.
 
Six: the quality of a sudden gesture
 
                                                                      which is also the equation
 
 
 
 

Here the balance act begins. No I cannot. Yes you must. A hand becomes a line running down a leg becomes a thin wooden board. The action of bending has not yet been invented. I am a solid object. No you may not. If I in part become the force which is acting on tendon, I bend myself. It gains potential, elevated, the whole solid body on the weight of contented leaning and where is the fourth leg? A variable is missing from the equation. I and you and all our legs together and a safe distance away from a hurried moment. Here potential becomes kinetic. The following sections provide more detail.
 
 
 
 
If we assume a heavy hoof
 
                          tucked up against tendon
 
                                                             a hard curved cup holds
 
momentum
 
                          the ability to fall
 
 
A tired head is heavy on the chest
 
 
If we assume that we are in the same place at the same time
                                                                 
 
No you
 
                 may not let it fall
 
                                                the wooden board topples
 
                                                          when we tap it
 
Sand assumes a position
 
 
Let me try this again
 
                                                   If we assume sand
 
                                                                                    hurry
 
                                                   If we assume hurry
 
                                                                                    I am the counterweight
 
                 When it falls from my hand
 
                                                it gathers itself back
 
                                                          assumes shape
 
                                                          remembers energy exists with
 
                                                                     respect to the body


LAURA KOCHMAN currently lives, writes, and feeds her cat in Philadelphia. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama, and is an assistant editor for Coconut Magazine. Her work can be found in recent issues of Ghost Proposal, MiPoesias, La Vague, Bayou Magazine, and others, and her chapbook, Future Skirt, was released from dancing girl press in the fall of 2013.

 

            

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