by Pandora Dixon
The circle drawn in a darkened cell.
You stare through shaman nowhere: eyes flat black
like scorched ground. No more magic on the plains,
The grass has dried and withered to pavement.
You ride the last horse standing
on a cheap, splintered chair. Perched,
arms out, you wobble like a flightless bird;
pink feathers glued to a trinket headdress.
You are hollow; empty fingers tie
the knot. The rope dangles, a shadow lasso
on the wall. Ghostly wheel turning,
rolling towards the finish. Your end,
merely a formality. You were born
in a graveyard. Baptized in whiskey
and tobacco spit. To leave must
be to leave alone-blood drained
and pale. A corpse has no choice but
finally to lie still. You cinch the leather
cord and kick, suddenly alive, twisting
in a brittle dance. Colors like warpaint
streak your face. A vision of flint passion
calls you. The ancient voice clings, infant
cry at birth. An aborted warrior.