Pale Voice & Kangaroo
MTC Cronin

flare circle Are the names of two old horses, melancholy in temperament, black hides concealing this temperament in nights of greater black, more like dreams where you hear a snort, in it, proud sadness delightfully flanked by tossing sand, the great effort of prayerless kneeling and rolling onto the hammocks of their spines, long twisting necks go merry-go-round until their eyes, like black polished leaves of stone, roll back to the edge of the sky. What is there for them? A gallop of stars falling towards them in their own shape — crab, human, dog, ram — mouths snapping open like split coconuts onto sour ugly teeth chewing the constellations of moonlit grass. Why do we swallow the comforting story of reflection? Meanwhile they don't even hear it and may as well be swallowing vitamins or light. Which they are, which they're not. Kangaroo's been up there, in the ink spilling to cover every day ever lived, with birds and wearing wings like the kinds of horses that take children to fairyland in the dead of night and return them before morning spills its rainbows to wrap up this lie so tight it will only ever be opened by adults with their sophisticated pincer grip and patience it takes to grasp patience and shake it out to a fortune-telling so the story can follow it into possibility. His was, he was bought by a millionaire and air-lifted through views of the boot and alpha and beta and the big dipper to the place where his death would happen, to the field where Pale Voice left her soft whinny at the fence and then raced to a place of startling beauty as if she was not flesh and all it collapses but a fabulous animal to decorate pottery, haunch as still as it would be if an untrue form, as she would seem to be if she had never bitten a man's hand and shattered his trust as if it was crystal glass in the cuts of her mouth and impossible thoughts. And as soon as he saw her, Kangaroo limped with ankles of water on which his spirit flowed out to that planet she was on and he went there slowly and didn't come back. His erection burned with the fire he took to her room and her stomach swelled beneath maps of fur until pale blue lines pushed through like phylogenetic poems written on the overstretched canvas of her belly. A promise! This giant grape filled with seeds and he cantered sideways into the irregularity of a moon's orbit due to the attraction of a sun. That first night created its own exhaustion and he slept with his nose to her tewel — Oh! the smell of her and mane giving favours to tail, dreams of berry-fat in her hair and nudging the foal from its case of wet-horse-silk that dropped in a waterfall to the ground and lay like death in life. Now he stands and answers the small smoke from her crumbling mouth with the simple presence of being as they slip their old hooves onto the shining track that opens between time's single flow and its effacement. Their shadows follow them carefully but with the naivety of silhouettes look hardly like horses and deconstruct like hearsay until merely and barely movements in a fantasy of trees and hills and clouds all taken to sleep on the grey screen of earth. Where are they going? Large hearts too old for this love yet walking on and on, scabby-kneed and unable to let go, sleeping and dreaming standing up.

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