glass horse reflecting light across a sea of narcissus

a fear tames it marks time wanders

through meadows builds huts in deep

valleys paints figures on walls

meanders into red, then yellow,

then into caves of glowing skulls

mother didn’t complain when she felt him

kicking up a storm and blowing all the trees

away. an ordinary thing, this tantrum inside

caves where she found the calcium to undo his

paralysis and he returns to origin

the audience tries to understand the narrative.

one, especially, understands the sequence.

sits in the back of the auditorium.

wears a wide-brimmed hat with jewels and flowers.

chews on their threads, deciphers their cells.

presents a mystery, a confluence of matter.

figures once in a while the story is incomplete.

figures once in a while paralysis is inaccessible.

figures once in a while mother wears the wide-brimmed


figures once in a while the shadow won’t join in the


says the shadow. all of this gray matter is one skull

says the mother. failing as they do

says the son. not like the presence of rectangles in a


as he plans from the beginning, his strategy

bears fruit—more, faster, easier. after

the tantrum, he identifies the jewels/walks

with 4 sticks and a fox/sucks his thumb inside

the forest/falls out of habitat and

into stupor, as mother withstands the tease

and motive, bargains to buy words, writes

the poem, break-a-way from shadowsleep

the audience stands up.

refuses to watch.

read the sign.

steps out the backdoor.

no surprise herelittle blue

rectanglessame poemsame matter

same wombsame blue outlinesglass

horse reflecting light across a sea

of narcissus/rose blooming in its own

vase of water

Originally published in Guillinna on Four Wheels by Sandra Squire Fluck. Available on Apple Books and Amazon Kindle.

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