Eliese Colette Goldbach, “White Horse”

Eliese wants to tell you a story. She wants to tell you a story, but there are so many things about which she cannot speak. Particle physics, for example. Also, industrial psychology, protein synthesis, polymer science, and the peculiar magic that makes water bugs skate so perfectly on a pond. She wants to tell you a story, but she lacks so many things. Multivariable calculus. Pie making. And there is so much she has forgotten. The conjugation of the verb vouloir, the purpose of a Golgi body, the middle name of her first boyfriend. Eliese does, however, know about horses. She can talk about horses. She knows equitation and conformation and equine disease. For example, Eliese knows that white horses must be bred with care. Sometimes, a white horse is born with a fatal genetic disorder known as lethal white syndrome. A foal with this disorder will appear healthy at birth. It will stand and suckle and sniff its mother’s scent. A new, white life. But deep inside the foal’s gut, something has gone wrong. Its colon has not formed properly. It cannot expel waste. These foals always die—either naturally and painfully over the course of a few days, or through euthanasia. A white, perfect body splayed dead on the straw. The violence of a harbored, hidden waste.

This is one that I’m not going to expound upon. It’s a story we’ve heard before but is new and deserving of our attention every time. It’s more-than-okay when a story other than my own conveys a “shut up and listen, for a rare shining moment, shut the fuck up, dude.”

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