I stand barefoot in the darkening woods.
Your horse bears down. His hooves crescent
the dirt, casting rinds of Earth on my feet
as he circles, one more animal bent
to your will. From muscled halves
of his chest, heat radiates. Your slight
boot and rim of cloak skim my cheek.
I’m no hunter, mother, nor simple quarry, nor witch
like you. Guinevere paces her battlements
at dawn when Arthur’s gone, just a girl
in pale slippers like falcon hoods,
so lethal, so light. Were I to be mortally
wounded, would Avalon’s ferry
halt for me? Unsmiling in your saddle
above, a planetary cold in your eyes,
you begin your fade; outlines of oak trunks
reassemble in the air your horse occupied,
the rowan fringe of your lips.