The herd disbands like Pangaea
when you approach, shaking your bucket of rain.
They surge against the low wall,
their heads a causeway, ears flattened by sleet.
You throw handfuls of fodder.
So many, so indistinct –
which should you claim as your own?
And how to remember the husks of its lips,
the coinslot eyes, trotters
that were hands, or under your guidance
could be hands – which to fatten?
Each time you leave, more return with you –
a tongue bucking and rearing in its corral.
The transaction is only air
but air is all there is between you.
Take down the details – the trough's accumulation,
the rough bodies recovering themselves from mud.
Before you leave again, convince them
their snorts and whines, their almost-words,
are nothing worth translating.