The Last Horse of Sand / Ben Gulyas

the last horse of sand
the night sewn into its spine
like a dark curve
the mark of the mole
the mark of the hedgehog, the tortoise,
the leather winged bat
the mark of the 4-legged possum
white ghost out of the side of the eyes
gnarling in the night over crocus nectar
and turnips—

the last horse of sand
returning to us all
as a dream
hoof beats in our heads…
cactus blooms, all rose and butter,
silent and startling—

like elf owls watching
the moon
reflecting off the sudden movement
of the earth
a scratch of blood
claw, beak & belly bound
the nectared bones of the cactus
the juice, the scent of color…

and the owl, the owl…
is a lonely bird…
exiled to a hushed dim flight
of darkness,
and a hunger of shadows…
or any little light that moves…
too awkward or beaten
or just
a half-beat

and what faces then,
the grip of the throat,
listening to the light
being pulled out
and let go…

the owl, the owl…
its exile…

while the last horse of sand
doesn’t give it a paused beat
but runs nose flared
eyes wide wild
among all those life-eaten blankets,
under the bridges…
under the bridges…

where there, a moment of dim sunrise…
holds all dreams to be true—

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