PEGASUS TATTOO ON THE LEFT by Jai Hamid Bashir
A horse is a muscular hyphen—
connecting humans to nighttides of the open
animal world beyond us. Last night I dreamt
that you married someone who wasn’t me.
A winged horse is a regatta of stars—
human’s first spacecraft, the moon, too,
is a changing hoof. How far upwards
each verve of the earth, a lunarship searching
for unknown fruit. The tail, a brush of a comet’s
glitterfreeze. I’ve sailed on these half-wings.
The dream rivets to silent, deep space.
The event horizon: an open gate.
The cold ocean is not a horse —
Mare and mer: false cognates.
Lunar mare: dark waves
of basalt, ancient stargazers misunderstood
to be water, maria. Pronounce this Medusa.
Sidus signs of your tongue on the lateral
of my dark thighs. An odious oasis calls, a desert
mer. Snakeskin glints in impastos of sage:
layers of landscape. I’ll take handfuls
home with your old jackknife. I’ll siren into
chalk-smoke motes, shadowed patterns
on celestial bodies. So, what else do I remember
of this dream? The mane falls wild on my black coat.
White heat from the planets, cantered light
from behind the plateau. How far of a dive
into la mer until each creature
becomes eyeless? Saturn’s witness has shores.
La Mer. I am the mare with a seven-pound heart.
I know I was meant to lose you.
Come, now out of the sing of river —
drink a godsong, like horses out of green
buds about to speak into spring.
- Published in Issue 22