The four-wheeler is a chariot. Horse-wraiths
Kicking up a plume of spirits in the dirt.
Her arms kudzu around my middle. Out here,
In the desert, everything is invisible.
Only the locusts’ flat buzz gives
Them away. Everything native & quieting
Perennial & nighthawk black
As we ride through: the cowgirls,
The witch & the water sky-mirror-split,
The severity of squall lines. Also, the lips
Parting air like lightning & the girl
Blowing bubbles—in each one
She thinks I am worth a burnt tongue.
Her small gifts, oddities,
Meet me at my mailbox.
Sheer curtains glitter
Above us in the currents, dance
In the heat that suffocates this land,
The lone harp & low grind of
Its history. We hold.
She takes me to dirt raked
Into rows, to stadium lights
In the middle of nowhere. A bed
On a porch. I am a horse
Skipping sideways down her lane, the stem
Of an American flag that’s been cut into strips
Dangling in my mouth like a toothpick.
Our shadow town Underneath the motherboard.
Our sudden lapse Of sound
I buck. This undertow, caught
Beneath hooves. Swept up by her current—
Butterflies collide with my whipped tail,
My tremoring eyelashes, my heavy teeth.
My fattest loc grazing a breast.
Tonight she finds me like this:
Blood lacing my chin
Two wide eyes peering over the torso
Of a bronco from the other side.