Climbing the stone-lipped hill,
they move closer in jagged rhythm.
The dark that swallowed me whole
illuminates their pale, curious eyes,
curved horns crowning lean, sleek brows.
At the top of the rise, I wait
for this fate that arrives, unbidden.
Soundless, their hooves come swift
and cruel. I can’t see their brutish teeth,
but they gleam and sharpen,
as sure as the hidden stars.

They will surely run me down,
their fleet white forms leaping upon me,
no words to describe the voiceless
violence, hooves and teeth sparking
in the strange, altered light,

like the grim coals that smoldered
from my mother’s eyes at the supper table
before I was sent to bed, before
she and my father set about
burning all the green days.