a stag and a horse

I went seeking in a fragrant wood,

Columned with dark trees,

A stag and a white horse came to me,

Soft-breathing and filled with immense calm. 

A snake flowed from my crown and became entwined in antlers,

The stag lay his head against my breast

His antlers embraced me like an ungiving nest.

A nest of hard tree branches,

A nest like the forest’s hand, his antlers.

And so I stood, enveloped by all this power,

Peaceful and sweet as a bower of bones.

And the huge head of the pale horse,

Pressed along my side with gentle force,

They held me in a quivering embrace.

The closeness of wild things in this wild place,

Gave me assurance that I was protected,

An inviolable girlhood was resurrected.

And then they drew away again

The floating stag and the crashing horse.

Back into that immense forest,

Until all sounds of them were lost.

But ever since then I have felt their breath,

Breathing true secrets within my breast.


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