Postcard with horses on Main St.

In a small town there’s bound to be lots of one-way streets. If you’re not on foot, you wind up doubling the distance to where you want to go. C. tells me there’s a place farther down Main that specializes in only two things, donuts and grass-fed beef burgers. L. says she drives to Charlottesville or Roanoke for other kinds of shopping. I’m surrounded by four churches but I’ve yet to hear the sounds of bells, their tongues lapping up the silence that smells today of grass and weak sunlight. I pass a storefront window twice a day, where a life-size model of an eyeless horse stands half-decoupaged with squares of brown and grey. Maybe I should walk on the other side to keep from always having to look at his sombre face, suspended in shadow beside a piece of tarp. I did see another horse on Sunday, pulling tourists in an old-fashioned carriage away from the cemetery; it had a tiny bell attached to its harness. If it made a sound, it was softer than rain.

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