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
                                                     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
                          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
                                                   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.